A scoping review on policies to reduce tobacco availability by regulating retail environment
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Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany
Bath University, Bath, United Kingdom
King’s College London, London, United Kingdom
University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Publication date: 2022-07-05
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A110
In 2005, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) entered into force. This treaty was developed in response to the global tobacco epidemic, and it includes measures to reduce both demand for and supply of tobacco. The measures related to demand reduction include raising tax, providing cessation services, promoting smokefree public places, banning advertising, and raising awareness. However, there are a limited number of measures for supply reduction, and these mainly include fighting illicit trade, banning sales to minors and providing alternatives to tobacco workers and growers. Unlike regulation of many other goods and services that have been subjected to retail restrictions, there is a lack of resources about restricting tobacco availability through regulation of tobacco retail environment.

Considering the potential of retail environment regulations in reducing tobacco supply and consequently reducing tobacco use, this scoping review aims to identify relevant measures.

This scoping review examines interventions, policies, and legislation to regulate tobacco retail environment to reduce tobacco availability. This was done by searching all FCTC and its Conference of Parties decisions, a grey literature search including tobacco control databases, a scoping communication with the focal points of the 182 FCTC Parties, and a databases search in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Global Health, and Web of Science.

Themes of measures were identified to reduce tobacco availability by regulating retail environment: FCTC and non-FCTC measures. Studies show the effects of regulation of the retail environment in influencing overall tobacco purchases, and there is strong evidence that having fewer retails reduces the level of impulse purchasing of cigarettes and tobacco goods. The measures covered by FCTC are much more implemented than ones not covered by it. Although not widely implemented, many themes of limiting tobacco availability by regulating tobacco retail environment are available.

Further studies to assess such measures, and the adoption of the effective ones to be covered under FCTC decisions would probably increase their adoption by many countries. There is a need for exploring regulating retail environment to reduce tobacco availability and its supply as a theme to be adopted globally for tobacco control.