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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Changes at the Point-of-Sale for Tobacco Following the 1999 Billboard Ban

  • Author(s): Wakefield, Melanie A., PhD
  • Terry, Yvonne M., MSA
  • Chaloupka, Frank J., PhD
  • Barker, Dianne C., MHS
  • Slater, Sandy J., MS
  • Clark, Pamela I, PhD
  • Giovino, Gary A., MS, PhD
  • et al.

Objective—This study aimed to assess the effect of the Master Settlement Agreement’s (MSA) 24 April 1999 ban on billboard tobacco advertising on the tobacco industry’s point-of-purchase marketing strategies.

Methods—Observations were conducted from 16 February through 23 June 1999 in 3,464 tobacco-selling retail stores in a total of 191 communities across the nation. Communities were determined by the location of schools in a nationally representative sample of students in grades 8, 10, and 12 in the United States. At each store, information was collected on the extent of interior and exterior tobacco advertising, extent of tobacco functional objects, presence of tobacco promotions, and placement of tobacco and low-height advertisements. Logistic regression and cumulative logit analyses were used to assess changes in pre- and post-ban retail environments, after adjusting for store type, store size, presence of state tobacco control program and urbanicity.

Results—After adjustment for covariates, there were significant post-ban increases in the presence of tobacco sales promotions, the presence and extent of functional objects, the presence of exterior and interior store advertising, and the extensiveness of exterior store advertising.

Conclusions—The observed increase in point-of-purchase marketing in the period following the billboard advertising ban suggests that the tobacco industry may be shifting at least some of the expenditures once spent on billboard advertising to the advertising and promotion at the point-ofpurchase. To the extent that this is so, the intended effects of the MSA billboard ban may not be fully realized.

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