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Why Point-of-Sale Matters

March 30, 2022

MIAMI, FLA. – The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County’s The Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade Tobacco-Free Workgroup is working to educate the community on the importance of point of sale, the retail environment where tobacco or nicotine products are sold.

Marketing at the point of sale is a major focus for the tobacco industry. So called “power walls” – walls often located behind the register (as required by the county product placement ordinance) display an array of tobacco and nicotine products – often dominating a large section of the store and attracting new smokers, making it difficult for former smokers or those attempting to quit to be successful. Unfortunately, there is a higher density of tobacco retailers in communities with higher percentages of African Americans, Hispanics, people living below the poverty line or women older than 25 without a high school diploma. 1The clustering of retailers close to schools, churches, homes, and community centers increases the chance of exposure to tobacco advertising, marketing, and promotions.

In addition, tobacco companies use price promotions such as discounts and multi-pack coupons — which are most often used by low income and underserved populations— to increase sales.2 Many of these point-of-sale stores – like convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, discount stores, and traditional tobacco retailers – display marketing signage for tobacco products with branded shelving units and offer promotions and price discounts, which together make tobacco products attractive, easily obtained, and affordable. “Unfortunately, these tactics are especially visible in low-income communities which gravely affect the lives of the underserved,” states Dr. Zinzi Bailey, Chair of the Policy and Surveillance Subcommittee of the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade Tobacco-Free Workgroup.

Tobacco marketing in stores close to schools is also of particular concern because of the increased likelihood of exposure to pro-smoking messages as students go in or near these stores.”3 As found in recent research, tobacco marketing is more prevalent in stores where youth frequent.4

The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County’s Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade Tobacco-Free Workgroup is working to educate the community about the harms of tobacco and nicotine products and to increase awareness among county residents about available cessation resources, like Tobacco Free Florida, to assist those wanting to quit nicotine use. To get involved, please visit

About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

About Tobacco Free Florida
The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit or follow the campaign on Facebook at or on Twitter at


1Rodriguez D, Carlos HA, Adachi-Mejia AM, Berke EM, Sargent JD. Predictors of tobacco outlet density nationwide: a geographic analysis. Tob Control. 2013 Sep;22(5):349-55. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050120. Epub 2012 Apr 4. [accessed 2021 Aug 5].

2Center for Public Health Systems Science. Point-of-Sale Strategies: A Tobacco Control Guide. St. Louis: Center for Public Health Systems Science, George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, 2014 [accessed 2021 Aug 5].

3National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2012. 5, The Tobacco Industry’s Influences on the Use of Tobacco Among Youth. Available from: [accessed 2021 Aug 5].

4Henriksen, L, et al., “Reaching youth at the point of sale: Cigarette marketing is more prevalent in stores where adolescents shop frequently,” Tobacco Control 13:315-318, 2004.


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