Exposure to cigar Point-of-Sale marketing and use of cigars and cigarettes among young adults

Yenan Zhu, Keryn E Pasch, Alexandra Loukas, Kimberle L Sterling, Cheryl L Perry
Addictive Behaviors 2021 January 9, 116: 106821

INTRODUCTION: Few studies examine the impact of objective exposure to point-of-sale (POS) marketing for cigars including little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs) on tobacco use. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between exposure to LCC marketing at the POS and current and future use of LCCs and cigarettes among young adult college students.

METHOD: Data on LCC and cigarette use from 4201 young adult students (mean age = 22.8 [SD = 2.3]; 35.9% non-Hispanic whites) attending 24 Texas colleges was linked to objective assessments of POS marketing at 220 tobacco retail outlets within one mile of the colleges. Multilevel logistic regression analyses examined the impact of LCC marketing at the POS on use of LCCs and cigarettes currently and 6-months later.

RESULTS: Participants were, on average, exposed to 43 LCC marketing materials per week. Results from cross-sectional analyses indicated that exposure to LCC POS marketing was associated with higher odds of current use of LCCs (AOR = 1.003, 95% CI = 1.0002, 1.0053) and cigarettes (AOR = 1.006, 95% CI = 1.0050, 1.0075). The relationship between LCC POS marketing exposure and LCC use was not significant in longitudinal models; however, exposure to LCC POS marketing at baseline did predict current cigarette use at 6-month follow-up (AOR = 1.004, 95% CI = 1.0021, 1.0052).

CONCLUSION: Findings suggest a substantial influence of LCC marketing exposure at the POS. Regulations on LCC marketing at the POS, especially around college campuses, should be considered.

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