MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristy Marynak, Master of Public Health
Public Health Analyst at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The background for our study is that in recent years, self-reported cigarette smoking has declined among youth and adults, while electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has increased. However, sales trends for these products are less certain. Our study assessed national and state patterns of U.S. cigarette and e-cigarette unit sales using retail scanner data from convenience and grocery stores; mass merchandisers like Walmart; drug, dollar, and club stores; and military commissaries.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: We found that from 2011—2015, cigarette sales decreased slightly and e-cigarette sales increased significantly. However, in 2015, convenience store sales of conventional cigarettes increased for the first time in a decade.
We also found that cigarette sales continue to dramatically exceed e-cigarette sales in the assessed stores. In the last 4-week period measured, cigarette unit sales exceeded e-cigarettes by 64:1 in convenience stores and by 73:1 in other assessed stores such as supermarkets and drug stores.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
• Cigarettes continue to outweigh sales of e-cigarettes in traditional outlets such as convenience stores, supermarkets, and drug stores.
• Recent growth in conventional cigarette sales might be attributed to economic factors happening at the time, such as declines in gasoline prices and increases in disposable personal income. Cigarette purchases may have increased especially among low-income and young adults, who are more sensitive to changes in prices and smoke at higher rates.
• Continued implementation of proven strategies is critical to further reduce cigarette smoking and to prevent smoking-related death and disease. These strategies include increasing the price of tobacco products, comprehensive smoke-free policies, hard hitting mass media campaigns, and enhanced access to cessation services. Full implementation of comprehensive tobacco control programs at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–recommended funding levels, along with Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products, could reduce tobacco use in the U.S.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Nielsen data exclude sales from “vape shops,” tobacco specialty stores, and online retailers. Data from these untracked retailers could provide a more complete picture of the U.S. e-cigarette market. Nevertheless, this analysis highlights the dynamic nature of cigarette and e-cigarette sales, and underscores the importance of continued tobacco product surveillance
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