Sherry L. Emery, Susan Ennett, Heathe Luz McNaughton Reyes, John C. Scott and Kurt M. Ribisl contributed equally to this work.
KM Ribisl is the Executive Director of Counter Tools (http://countertools.org), a nonprofit from which they receive compensation. Counter Tools provides technical assistance on point of sale tobacco control issues and distributes store mapping and store audit tools. KM Ribisl also has a royalty interest in a store audit and mapping system owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Neither the store audit tool nor the audit mapping system was used in this study. Dr. Ribisl is donating all of his royalties in 2012 and 2013 to student scholarships. Dr. Ribisl is also a special government employee for the FDA Center for Tobacco Products and a member of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee; the views expressed in this article are his and not those of the FDA. All other authors declare that they have no competing interests.
SWR originated the study, developed the analysis plan, performed the statistical analyses, and led the writing of the article. SLE, SE, JS, and HLMR provided substantive guidance and feedback on study design, instrument development and data analysis . KMR provided guidance and oversight to all aspects of the study and was the co-PI of the parent studies. All authors contributed to the development of the article and provided substantive feedback on the development of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The objectives of this study were to document retailer opinions about tobacco control policy at the point of sale (POS) and link these opinions with store level compliance with sales and marketing provisions of the Tobacco Control Act.
This study conducted interviews of 252 tobacco retailers in three counties in North Carolina and linked their opinions with in-person observational audit data of their stores’ compliance with POS policies. We conducted analyses examining retailer factors associated with noncompliance using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) controlling for individual, store, neighborhood, and county factors.
Over 90 % of retailers support minors’ access provisions and a large minority (over 40 %) support graphic warnings and promotion bans. Low levels of support were found for a potential ban on menthol cigarettes (17 %). Store noncompliance with tobacco control policies was associated with both more reported retailer barriers to compliance and less support for POS policies. Awareness of and source of information about tobacco control regulations were not associated with compliance when accounting for neighborhood and county characteristics.
Retailers expressed some support for a wide range of POS policies. Advocates and government agencies tasked with enforcement can work with retailers as stakeholders to enhance support, mitigate barriers, and promote compliance with tobacco control efforts at the point of sale.