Part I: Moving in the right direction: Tobacco packaging and labeling in the Americas
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Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington D.C., United States of America
University of Nevada Reno, Reno, United States of America
Publication date: 2023-04-25
Corresponding author
Ernesto M Sebrie
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington D.C., United States of America
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement):A22
Article 13 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control recommends a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship (TAPS) including at the point-of-sale (POS). In Feb. 2022, Mexico amended its tobacco control law to establish a complete ban on TAPS including product display at the POS. Regulations went into effect Jan. 2023, and specify that only a list of tobacco products available and their prices may be displayed; lists cannot include logos. The objective of this study was to assess availability and marketing of conventional and emerging tobacco and nicotine products at the POS before implementation of the TAPS ban in Mexico.

Material and Methods:
An observational study was conducted from Dec. 6-20, 2022, in the capital cities of Puebla and Aguascalientes, two states in Mexico. We selected 6 areas based on socioeconomic and geographic variation. We monitored 477 tobacco POS (236 in Aguascalientes, 241 in Puebla), equally distributed across the 6 areas. POS had a minimum distance of 100m between each other, and included convenience stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, specialty tobacco stores, and liquor stores. Trained data collectors used cellphones with the web program KoBo Toolbox to record the POS location, tobacco product availability, brands, advertising, promotion, and product display, among other items.

Almost all POS sold conventional cigarettes (97.5%) and flavored (including menthol) cigarettes (84%). Few POS sold cigars (1.5%), little cigars (<1%), or waterpipe tobacco (<1%). Ten POS (2%) sold electronic cigarettes, one sold heated tobacco products (0.2%), and none sold oral nicotine pouches. Most POS displayed conventional tobacco products (85%) and had at least one type of tobacco advertising (60%). Few (<2%) had tobacco promotions (limited editions, discounts, or gifts with purchase). Almost half of POS displayed a list with cigarettes brands and prices (48%), and about 40% sold single sticks (packs opened and/or lighters).

TAPS bans, including at the POS, are essential to reducing tobacco use prevalence. Assessment of POS prior to implementation of the TAPS ban show pervasive and aggressive marketing used by the tobacco industry. A monitoring of TAPS post-implementation of the ban will be conducted to assess compliance.

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