Vendors close to schools are often paid to display nicotine and tobacco products in their retail stores, as well as stylish point-of-sale signs, attractive marketing materials, and bright, colorful cases to attract younger customers. Tobacco companies use experiential marketing in a variety of places that appeal to young people. Bars and nightclubs have been, and continue to be, popular settings for experiential marketing. Before 1998, tobacco companies were also allowed to sponsor events, such as concerts and festivals. Although the 1998 Framework Settlement Agreement prohibited tobacco and smoke-free tobacco companies from sponsoring sporting, musical and cultural events, companies are still legally authorized to participate in these events.
A tobacco company, for example, could take an exclusive branded van for adults to a sporting event. Point-of-sale advertising and promotion strategies for new tobacco and nicotine products are similar to those used to sell cigarettes. Applications such as Rappi, Glovo and Wabi collaborate directly with tobacco vendors and are becoming a popular way for traditional retailers to promote the sale of tobacco products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown measures. These tactics used around the world are likely to have been instigated by multinational tobacco companies, which have a strong interest in guiding or even controlling the way retailers advertise and promote their products and have extensive resources to guide and even control them. In some countries, tobacco advertising at points of sale is strictly regulated.
In others, regulatory loopholes are being exploited and the spirit of laws and regulations designed to protect customers from exposure to this type of advertising is being violated. The most effective way to stop the unbridled marketing and promotion of tobacco products among children and young people is for governments to enact and enforce these key measures of the WHO FMCT by raising awareness among policy makers and the public about the need to address POS and other tactics used by the tobacco industry to target children and young people. The regulation on the marketing of tobacco products left open a legal loophole “for adults only”, an exemption from some tobacco marketing practices that take place in spaces only for adults. Most of the published literature on tobacco advertising at points of sale has been conducted in high-income countries, with the exception of research conducted in Guatemala, Russia and Indonesia. See the Industry Guide, the Compliance Guide for Small Entities, the FDA considers that certain tobacco products are subject to FDA authority, sales and distribution restrictions, and health warning requirements for packages and advertisements (revised).
PMI and British American Tobacco Argentina promote these mobile applications for the sale of tobacco (Figure 7B). While many countries now prohibit the marketing of tobacco through media such as radio, television and magazines, few countries completely prohibit the marketing of tobacco at points of sale, including a ban on displaying the products. Efforts to monitor tobacco advertisements at points of sale continue around the world, revisiting some countries where data has already been collected and expanding to other countries. The widespread use of the cigarette advertising and promotion tactics described in retail outlets and the commonalities in the ways in which those tactics are used demonstrate that multinational companies use similar advertising and promotional tactics in all geographical regions to expose young people to their cigarette brands and products. Several studies have explored the tobacco industry's efforts to link tobacco use with alcohol consumption, and one found that 74.5 percent of all young adults who currently smoke said that they like to smoke while drinking.
The proximity of tobacco products to products such as candy can also confuse the two products and contribute to a misperception of the health risks posed by tobacco.