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Shrinking the Size of the Tobacco Powerwall and Restricting the Number of Tobacco Products Displayed to Reduce Adolescent Tobacco Use

Principal Investigator: William G. Shadel

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 1R01DA050972-01

Award Date: 5/21/2020

Institution: RAND Corporation


The most prominent source of retail point-of-sale (POS) tobacco advertising comes from the tobacco power wall, the large, expansive display of hundreds of different tobacco products typically located behind the cashier in full view of consumers. Adolescents are frequent visitors to retail stores and thus are at significant risk for having repeated exposures to the tobacco power wall. The goal of this project is to experimentally evaluate the extent to which reducing the size of the tobacco power wall and the number of tobacco product units displayed influences tobacco use risk in adolescents. Study aims are: (1) to evaluate the extent to which reducing the size of the power wall and number of units of each tobacco product displayed on the power wall influences tobacco use risk; (2) to model the mediational pathways through which these reductions initiatives have their effects; and (3) to examine whether gender and/or tobacco use experience moderate adolescents’ reactions to the power wall regulatory options under investigation. This study will take place in the RAND StoreLab (RSL), a life-sized replica of a convenience store developed to evaluate how altering aspects of POS promotion influences tobacco use risk during simulated shopping experiences. A total of 750 adolescents (ages 11-20) will be randomly assigned to shop in the RSL under one of three conditions (250 per condition): (1) large power wall/ multiple product units displayed; (2) small power wall/multiple product units displayed; and (3) small power wall/single product units displayed. Researchers will consider the effect of these power wall alterations on risk of use of four classes of tobacco products: cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery devices, cigarillos, and smokeless tobacco. Tobacco use risk will be indexed by: attention to the tobacco power wall, perceived tobacco use norms, perceived availability of tobacco products, and tobacco use intentions. Findings may inform future regulatory activities related to POS tobacco advertising. 
 

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