Cigarette sales to minors via the internet: how the story has changed in the wake of federal regulation.
ABSTRACT: To assess how easily minors can purchase cigarettes online and online cigarette vendors' compliance with federal age/ID verification and shipping regulations, North Carolina's 2013 tobacco age verification law, and federal prohibitions on the sale of non-menthol flavoured cigarettes or those labelled or advertised as 'light'.In early 2014, 10 minors aged 14-17 attempted to purchase cigarettes by credit card and electronic check from 68 popular internet vendors.Minors received cigarettes from 32.4% of purchase attempts, all delivered by the US Postal Service (USPS) from overseas sellers. None failed due to age/ID verification. All failures were due to payment processing problems. USPS left 63.6% of delivered orders at the door with the remainder handed to minors with no age verification. 70.6% of vendors advertised light cigarettes and 60.3% flavoured, with 23.5% and 11.8%, respectively, delivered to the teens. Study credit cards were exposed to an estimated $7000 of fraudulent charges.Despite years of regulations restricting internet cigarette sales, poor vendor compliance and lack of shipper and federal enforcement leaves minors still able to obtain cigarettes (including 'light' and flavoured) online. The internet cigarette marketplace has shifted overseas, exposing buyers to widespread credit card fraud. Federal agencies should rigorously enforce existing internet cigarette sales laws to prevent illegal shipments from reaching US consumers, shut down non-compliant and fraudulent websites, and stop the theft and fraudulent use of credit card information provided online. Future studies should assess whether these agencies begin adequately enforcing the existing laws.
Project description:BACKGROUND:According to the Juvenile Protection Act in Korea, no one is allowed to sell, rent, or distribute tobacco products to adolescents. Furthermore, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 16 prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors. In this study, we investigated the trends in and associated factors of the ease of cigarette purchase among Korean adolescents from 2005 to 2016. METHODS:The analyses were based on the data of the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey. We estimated the trends in the ease of cigarette purchase from 2005 to 2016 and evaluated associated factors. Ease of cigarette purchase was defined as the proportion of adolescents who were able to purchase cigarettes from among those who had tried to purchase cigarettes in the past 30 days. RESULTS:The ease of cigarette purchase began decreasing since 2008 (81.3%) compared to 2005 (83.9%). It decreased to 76.5% in 2013 and further decreased to 71.4% in 2016. The ease of cigarette purchase increased for adolescents who were in higher grades, smoked larger amounts of cigarettes per day, lived in metropolitan cities, had problematic drinking in the past year, and had close friends who smoked. It decreased in adolescents who had current smokers among their family members. CONCLUSIONS:Although the proportion of adolescents who were able to purchase cigarettes significantly decreased starting in 2008, more than 70% of Korean adolescents can still purchase cigarettes. Enforcement of the Juvenile Protection Act must be strengthened in order to prevent cigarette use among adolescents.
Project description:While flavoured cigarettes were prohibited in the USA in 2009, flavoured little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs) remain on the market. We describe the evolving strategies used by tobacco companies to encourage uptake of flavoured LCCs and industry research findings on consumer perceptions of flavoured LCC products.Analysis of internal tobacco industry documents was triangulated with data from tobacco advertisement archives, national newspapers, trade press and the internet.Flavoured LCC products were associated with young and inexperienced tobacco users, women and African-Americans. Internal industry studies confirmed that menthol and candy-like flavours (eg, vanilla and cherry) increased LCC appeal to starters by masking the heavy cigar taste, reducing throat irritation and making LCC smoke easier to inhale. To appeal to new users, manufacturers also reduced the size of cigars to make them more cigarette-like, introduced filters and flavoured filter tips, emphasised mildness and ease of draw in advertising, and featured actors using little cigars in television commercials. RJ Reynolds tried to capitalise on the popularity of menthol cigarettes among African-Americans and marketed a menthol little cigar to African-Americans.Tobacco companies engaged in a calculated effort to blur the line between LCCs to increase the appeal to cigarette smokers, and the use of flavours facilitated these efforts. Bans on flavoured cigarettes should be expanded to include flavoured LCCs, and tobacco use prevention initiatives should include LCCs.
Project description:Objectives:Examine correlates of initiation of e-cigarette use among smokers and determine the impact of e-cigarette use on cessation among smokers in a national U.S. consumer panel. Methods:This study used the Nielsen Homescan Panel data from 2011 to 2013, augmented with state-specific measures of tobacco control activities, to examine 1) correlates of single and repeat e-cigarette purchasing among panelists currently purchasing cigarettes; and 2) correlates of "cessation". Participating panelists scanned all retail purchases, and Nielsen recorded over 3 million product types. The key explanatory variable for cessation was e-cigarette purchase. Parallel analysis was conducted for conventional nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) purchase. Cessation was defined as no purchases for at least 6 months and no subsequent purchases until the end of 2013. Analysis was conducted in 2015. E-cigarettes tracked by Nielsen during this period were cig-a-like products resembling tobacco cigarettes in appearance. Results:Single e-cigarette purchase was associated with whether the panelist resided in a single person male household and bought a higher volume of cigarettes. Repeat purchase was associated with higher state cigarette taxes, less stringent state public smoke-free policies, lower cigarette prices, and more frequent cigarette purchasing. Cessation was associated with repeat e-cigarette purchasing, repeat NRT purchasing, younger age, lower monthly cigarette volume, less frequent purchasing of cigarettes, less recent cigarette purchase at baseline, and single e-cigarette purchase before baseline. Conclusions:Both individual and policy variables were associated with e-cigarette use. Repeat e-cigarette purchase was associated with cigarette purchase discontinuation, as were various smoking intensity measures.
Project description:Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has gained recent widespread popularity and acceptance in the general population. What effect e-cigarettes may have on pediatric health remains unknown. Although many jurisdictions have laws that prevent the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and the use of e-cigarettes in public places, infants, children, and adolescents are increasingly exposed to them. In this pediatric-focused review, we discuss the history of these devices, user demographics, known health effects, and current legislative efforts to protect minors from exposure.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Limited data exist on flavoured non-cigarette tobacco product (NCTP) use among US adults. METHODS:Data from the 2013 to 2014 National Adult Tobacco Survey (N=75?233), a landline and cellular telephone survey of US adults aged ?18, were assessed to estimate past 30-day NCTP use, flavoured NCTP use and flavour types using bivariate analyses. RESULTS:During 2013-2014, 14.4% of US adults were past 30-day NCTP users. Nationally, an estimated 10.2 million e-cigarette users (68.2%), 6.1 million hookah users (82.3%), 4.1 million cigar smokers (36.2%) and 4.0 million smokeless tobacco users (50.6%) used flavoured products in the past 30?days. The most prevalent flavours reported were menthol/mint (76.9%) for smokeless tobacco; fruit (74.0%) for hookah; fruit (52.4%), candy/chocolate/other sweet flavours (22.0%) and alcohol (14.5%) for cigars/cigarillos/filtered little cigars; fruit (44.9%), menthol/mint (43.9%) and candy/chocolate/other sweet flavours (25.7%) for e-cigarettes and fruit (56.6%), candy/chocolate/other sweet flavours (26.5%) and menthol/mint (24.8%) for pipes. Except for hookah and pipes, past 30-day flavoured product use was highest among 18-24-year olds. By cigarette smoking, never smoking e-cigarette users (84.8%) were more likely to report flavoured e-cigarette use, followed by recent former smokers (78.1%), long-term former smokers (70.4%) and current smokers (63.2%). CONCLUSIONS:Flavoured NCTP use is prominent among US adult tobacco users, particularly among e-cigarette, hookah and cigar users. Flavoured product use, especially fruit and sweet-flavoured products, was higher among younger adults. It is important for tobacco prevention and control strategies to address all forms of tobacco use, including flavoured tobacco products.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Little research exists on the sociodemographic characteristics of menthol and flavoured cigarette (MFC) smokers in Europe. This study assessed the proportion of MFC smokers in Europe, their sociodemographic characteristics, and their attitudes towards tobacco control measures. METHODS:Cross-sectional data were collected in 2016 among 10760 adult current smokers from 8 European countries (ITC Europe Project and EUREST-PLUS). Smokers of menthol, other flavoured, unflavoured tobacco, or no usual brand were compared on sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes towards a range of tobacco control measures (e.g. ban on flavouring), and on intentions regarding their smoking behaviour following the ban on flavoured tobacco. Data were analysed in SPSS Complex Samples Package using univariate analyses. RESULTS:Among the respondents, 7.4% smoked menthol cigarettes and 2.9% other flavoured tobacco, but large differences existed between countries (e.g. 0.4% smokers smoked menthol cigarettes in Spain vs 12.4% in England). Compared to other groups, menthol cigarette smokers were younger, more likely to be female, better educated, had higher household income, and smoked fewer cigarettes (all p<0.001). A quarter of menthol smokers supported a ban on additives, compared with almost half of all other smokers (p<0.001). In case of a ban on flavourings, around a fifth of all MFC smokers intended to switch to another brand, and a third to reduce the amount they smoked or to quit smoking, but there was no consistent pattern across MFC smokers among the countries. CONCLUSIONS:The ban on flavourings introduced by the EU Tobacco Products Directive (extended to 2020 for menthols) will affect one in ten smokers in the countries surveyed, which provides an opportunity for targeting these groups with cessation programmes. However, smokers of menthol and flavoured cigarettes in the different European countries are a heterogeneous group and may need different approaches.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Children exposed to electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) adverts may perceive occasional tobacco smoking as less harmful than children not exposed to e-cigarette adverts. Given the potential cross-cueing effects of e-cigarette adverts on tobacco smoking, there is an urgent need to establish whether the effect found in prior research is robust and replicable using a larger sample and a stronger control condition.<h4>Design</h4>A between-subjects experiment with one independent factor of two levels corresponding to the advertisements to which participants were exposed: glamorous adverts for e-cigarettes, or adverts for objects unrelated to smoking or vaping.<h4>Participants</h4>English school children aged 11-16 (n=1449).<h4>Outcomes</h4>Perceived harm of occasional smoking of one or two tobacco cigarettes was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included: perceived harm of regular tobacco smoking, susceptibility to tobacco smoking and perceived prevalence of tobacco smoking in young people. Perceptions of using e-cigarettes were gauged by adapting all the outcome measures used to assess perceptions of tobacco smoking.<h4>Results</h4>Tobacco smokers and e-cigarette users were excluded from analyses (final sample n=1057). Children exposed to glamorous e-cigarette adverts perceived the harms of occasional smoking of one or two tobacco cigarettes to be lower than those in the control group (<i>Z</i>=-2.13, p=0.033). An updated meta-analysis comprising three studies with 1935 children confirmed that exposure to different types of e-cigarette adverts (glamorous, healthful, flavoured, non-flavoured) lowers the perceived harm of occasional smoking of one or two tobacco cigarettes (<i>Z</i>=3.21, p=0.001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study adds to existing evidence that exposure to e-cigarette adverts reduces children's perceptions of the harm of occasional tobacco smoking.
Project description:Cigarette affordability measures the price smokers pay for cigarettes in relation to their incomes. Affordability can be measured using the relative income price of cigarettes (RIP), or the price smokers pay to purchase 100 packs of 20 cigarettes divided by their per capita household income. Using longitudinal data from 7046 smokers participating in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) US Survey, the purpose of this study was to test whether affordability significantly changed following the US federal tax increase implemented on 1 April 2009. This study also estimated temporal trends in affordability from 2003-2015 at state and national levels using small area estimation methods and segmented linear mixed effects regression models. RIP increased slightly during 2003-2008. This was followed by a 30% increase during 2008-2010, indicating cigarettes were less affordable after the federal tax increase. RIP continued to increase during 2010-2013 but decreased during 2013-2015, suggesting cigarettes have recently become more affordable for US smokers. State-level trends in RIP were consistent with overall national trends. Controlling for other factors, a $1 increase in the state excise tax was significantly associated with a 9% increase in RIP, indicating state taxes reduced affordability. Tax-induced price increases must keep pace with underlying economic conditions to ensure cigarettes do not become more affordable over time.
Project description:This on-line experiment examined whether the addition of ingredient- or industry-themed warning statements in television advertisements for e-cigarettes would affect young adults' craving for and risk perceptions of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes, as well as intent to purchase e-cigarettes.Advertisements for two leading e-cigarette brands were edited to contain a warning statement about product ingredients or about the tobacco industry. Participants were assigned randomly to one of eight treatments or one of two brand-specific control conditions without any warning statement.Young adults (n=900, aged 18-34?years) in a web panel were recruited from three groups: recent e-cigarette users, current smokers who used combustible cigarettes exclusively and non-users of either product.Craving and risk perceptions (addictiveness, harmful to health in general, harmful to others) were measured separately for e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes. The Juster scale measured intention to purchase e-cigarettes.Exposure to both types of warnings was associated with lower craving for e-cigarettes among e-cigarette users and smokers who experienced any craving (P<0.01) and lower intention to purchase among all participants (P<0.001). Only exposure to ingredient-themed warnings was associated with lower craving for combustible cigarettes (P<0.05). Participants who saw industry-themed warnings reported greater perceptions of general harm (P<0.001), but also rated e-cigarettes as less addictive than the control conditions (P<0.05).The addition of ingredient- or industry-themed warning statements to e-cigarette television advertising similarly reduces craving and purchase intent for e-cigarettes, but has inconsistent effects on perceived risks.
Project description:Non-menthol characterising flavours (eg, fruit, candy) are banned in cigarettes, yet are still permitted in non-cigarette tobacco (NCT) products. This study examined associations between first use and current use of flavoured tobacco products, and current flavoured tobacco use and quit behaviours.A nationally representative, telephone-based survey completed in 2012 by 1443 US adult tobacco users asked about use of 9 tobacco products: cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, little filtered cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco and snus. Ever users reported first use of flavoured products, while current users also reported current flavoured product use. Current users reported quit attempts made in the past year. Data were weighted to reflect the US adult tobacco user population. Logistic regression models were used to examine associations between first/current flavour use and quit behaviours.Over 70% of respondents reported first use of a flavoured tobacco product, while 54% reported current use of at least one flavoured product. Odds of current flavoured product use were greater among those who reported first use of a flavoured product (OR 14.82, 95% CI 9.96 to 22.06). First use of a flavoured product was associated with being a current tobacco user (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.08 to 2.22). Compared to single product users, polytobacco users exhibited greater odds of reporting current use of flavoured products (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.47 to 2.97). Forty-four percent of current tobacco users reported a past-year quit attempt. Adjusted analyses among current NCT users of at least one flavoured tobacco product showed reduced odds of reporting a quit attempt.First use of a flavoured tobacco product was associated with current flavoured tobacco use and polytobacco use. Users of only flavoured NCT products exhibited reduced odds of reporting a quit attempt. Findings from this study reinforce the importance of flavoured product availability in the USA, which may have significant implications for efforts to reduce tobacco initiation and use at a population level. The relationship between characterising flavours and quit behaviours merits further exploration in longitudinal, population-based samples.