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Evaluation of the NYC Cigar Packaging and Pricing Law

Evaluation of the NYC Cigar Packaging and Pricing Law

Principal Investigators: Todd Rogers and Tarsha McCrae

Funding Mechanism: Research Contract

ID number: HHSF223201310007B

Award Date: 8/10/2015

Institution: Research Triangle Institute, International


In 2014, New York City (NYC) implemented a cigar pricing and packaging law that mandates that cigars sold for $3 or less must be sold in a package of at least four cigars and that little cigars must be sold in packs of at least 20 and for at least $10.50 per pack. The NYC cigar law is part of a law with multiple tobacco control measures that aim to reduce tobacco use by decreasing the availability of low-priced tobacco products in NYC. The NYC cigar law provides an opportunity to evaluate the implementation and outcomes associated with this type of change in the retail environment. This evaluation will focus on whether the cigar pricing and packaging law was implemented as planned, whether it achieved its intended impacts on tobacco product sales and use, and whether it had any unintended consequences.  As part of the evaluation, investigators will collect and analyze retailer scanner data to study product pricing, sales volume and product characteristics pre- and post-policy implementation within New York City and comparison areas; conduct population health surveys to collect quantitative data on tobacco use and identify cigar-related outcomes; collect social media data to monitor the content and reach of social media activity related to cigar pricing and packaging; and gather tobacco retailer observations in New York City and surrounding areas to assess packaging and pricing in the retail environment. Study findings will provide new information on a number of topics, including trajectories of cigar consumption by product type; comparisons of cigars with other combustible and non‐combustible tobacco products with regard to consumer use, sales, and availability; and expected outcomes of a cigar product pricing and packaging policy within a specified jurisdiction.