Neighborhood distribution of availability of newer tobacco products: A US four-site study, 2021

Prev Med Rep. 2022 Oct 19;30:102028. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.102028. eCollection 2022 Dec.


Audits of tobacco retailers can identify marketing patterns as newer tobacco products are introduced in the US. Our study examined store and neighborhood correlates of availability of nicotine pouches and disposable e-cigarettes in four US sites. We conducted standardized store audits of n = 242 tobacco retailers in 2021 in different states: New Jersey, Kentucky, North Carolina, and New York. We geocoded stores linking them with census tract demographics. We conducted unadjusted and adjusted Poisson regression of availability of each product with correlates of the proportion of Non-Hispanic White residents, households under poverty, proximity to schools, site, and store type. Nicotine pouches and disposable e-cigarettes were each available in around half the stores overall, but availability differed across sites (range: 76 %-32 %). In adjusted analyses, nicotine pouches were less likely to be available in each store type vs chain convenience (IRR range 0.2-0.6) and more likely in stores in census tracts with a greater percentage of non-Hispanic White residents (IRR range 1.8-2.3). In contrast, disposable e-cigarettes were more likely to be available in tobacco/vape shops (IRR 1.9 (1.4-2.5) than convenience stores and less likely in non-specialty store types like groceries (IRR 0.2 (0.1-0.4). Newer tobacco products like nicotine pouches and disposable e-cigarettes were widely available in stores across sites, but retail marketing patterns appear to differ. As these product types become subject to increased regulation as they go through the FDA pre-market authorization process, understanding patterns and changes in the retail environment is critical to inform potential policies regulating their sale and marketing.

Keywords: Marketing; Retail; TFNP, Tobacco-Free Nicotine Pouch; Tobacco control; Tobacco products.