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Implementation of Evaluation Plan to Evaluate the City of Chicago Flavored Tobacco Ban Near Schools

Principal Investigator: Todd Rogers and Tarsha McCrae

Funding Mechanism: Research Contract

ID number: HHSF223201310007B

Award Date: 9/30/2014

Institution: Research Triangle Institute


The City of Chicago ban on the retail sale of all flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of elementary, middle or secondary schools went into effect in July 2014. Investigators at the Research Triangle Institute, the Institute of Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Public Health will evaluate how this ban affects Chicago’s retail marketing environment. Specifically, investigators will assess the immediate (five weeks post-ban) and short-run (seven months post-ban) impact of marketing-related policies and how this impact varies by communities’ socio-economic, demographic and geographic characteristics. Study aims are: (1) to determine whether product availability, placement, promotion, and price of tobacco products have been affected by the ban, and (2) to determine whether the ban has affected the retail market for tobacco products in general. Investigators will collect data on flavored tobacco product availability, placement, promotion (i.e., advertising) and price post-implementation (5 weeks and 7-month follow-up) in 277 retail stores directly affected by the ban and two comparison groups: (1) 312 licensed tobacco retail outlets within 501-1000 feet of schools; and (2) 335 licensed tobacco retail outlets beyond 1000 feet of schools. Post-implementation data will be compared to baseline data (which was collected in May and June 2014). In addition to the store observations, investigators will interview 90 tobacco retailers and conduct focus groups with 40 youth (ages 14-17) in order to understand how the flavored tobacco ban impacts each of these populations. Study findings may inform potential regulatory actions regarding the sale of flavored tobacco products.

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