Spinning a global web: tactics used by Big Tobacco to attract children at tobacco points-of-sale

Tob Control. 2022 May 31;tobaccocontrol-2021-057095. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2021-057095. Online ahead of print.


Most of the published literature on cigarette advertising and promotion at points-of-sale is on research conducted in high-income countries. We report findings from monitoring cigarette advertising and promotion at points-of-sale near schools and playgrounds in 42 countries, the majority low-income and middle-income. Four strategies were detected across most of these countries: (1) display of cigarettes near snacks, sweets and sugary drinks, (2) placement of cigarette advertisements near the eye-level of children, (3) advertisements and display of flavoured cigarettes and (4) sale of single sticks of cigarettes. These advertising and promotional tactics target children and youth and demonstrate that multinational tobacco companies use similar strategies to promote cigarettes at points-of-sale. The widespread violations of existing laws and regulations, the exploitation of regulatory loopholes and lack of existing tobacco control policies that apply to points-of-sale call for adoption and enactment of provisions recommended by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control such as comprehensive bans on tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship, bans on sale of single cigarette sticks and regulation of flavours. These strategies will help to protect children and youth from exposure to tobacco advertising.

Keywords: Advertising and Promotion; Global health; Low/Middle income country.

Publication types

  • Editorial