U.S. public opinion toward policy restrictions to limit tobacco product placement and advertising at point-of-sale and on social media

Prev Med. 2022 Feb:155:106930. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106930. Epub 2021 Dec 24.


The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco advertising and promotion, including at the retail level, and preserved state, tribal, and local tobacco advertising and promotion authorities. Public health experts have proposed prohibiting point-of-sale tobacco advertisements and product displays, among other tobacco advertising restrictions. We examined the prevalence and correlates of public support, opposition, and neutrality toward proposed tobacco product placement and advertising restrictions at point-of-sale and on social media utilizing the National Cancer Institute's 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) (N = 3865), a cross-sectional, probability-based postal survey of U.S. addresses conducted from Feb 24, 2020 to June 15, 2020 (Bethesda, MD). Frequencies and unadjusted, weighted proportions were calculated for support, neutrality, and opposition toward the three policies under study, and weighted, adjusted multivariable logistic regression was employed to examine predictors of neutrality and opposition. Tests of significance were conducted at the p < 0.05 level. Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults supported a policy prohibiting tobacco product advertising on social media; 55% supported a policy restricting the location of tobacco product advertising at point-of-sale; and nearly 50% supported a policy to keep tobacco products out of view at the checkout counter. Neutrality and opposition varied by sociodemographic characteristics including age, sex, education, rurality, and presence of children in the household. Understanding public opinion toward tobacco product placement and advertising restrictions may inform policy planning and implementation.

Keywords: Point-of-sale; Public opinion; Survey research; Tobacco; Tobacco control policy; Tobacco product advertising restrictions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Advertising
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Nicotiana
  • Policy
  • Public Opinion
  • Social Media*
  • Tobacco Products*