Article Text

Download PDFPDF
‘Friends with benefits’: how tobacco companies influence sales through the provision of incentives and benefits to retailers
  1. Christina Watts1,2,
  2. Suzan Burton3,
  3. Becky Freeman2,
  4. Fiona Phillips4,
  5. Kelly Kennington4,
  6. Michelle Scollo5,
  7. Kylie Lindorff6,
  8. Sam Egger7
  1. 1Cancer Prevention and Advocacy Division, Cancer Council New South Wales, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Sydney School of Public Health, Prevention Research Collaboration, Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Western Sydney University School of Business, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Cancer Prevention and Research Division, Cancer Council Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  5. 5Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6Quit Victoria, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  7. 7Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council New South Wales, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Ms Christina Watts, Cancer Prevention and Advocacy Division, Cancer Council New South Wales, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia; christina.watts{at}sydney.edu.au

Abstract

Background In countries banning advertising and display of tobacco at point-of-sale, little is known about tobacco companies’ continuing promotion of products through incentives and benefits to retailers.

Method A telephone survey of 4527 randomly selected Australian retailers was conducted in August 2018, and identified 800 current tobacco retailers (response rate: 72.4%) who were asked a series of questions about benefits offered to them by tobacco companies and what retailers agreed to in return.

Results 41.1% of retailers reported being provided with a tobacco cabinet and 38.3% reported having a price list supplied by a tobacco company. One-third (33.3%) reported being offered at least one benefit from a tobacco company for doing something in return. Price discounts were the most frequently reported benefit (19.0%), followed by rebates (8.4%) and gifts (3.0%). Retailers also reported offers of prizes and incentives for increasing sales or demonstrating product knowledge. In return, retailers reported giving companies benefits such as prominence on the price list and/or in the tobacco cabinet and/or influence over the product range and stock levels.

Conclusion Tobacco companies are continuing to market tobacco and influence sales through provision of incentives and benefits to retailers. Laws that ban the supply of benefits to consumers should be extended to also prohibit the provision of benefits to tobacco retailers.

  • tobacco industry
  • advertising and promotion
  • public policy
View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Twitter @WattsChrissy90, @DrBFreeman

  • Contributors CW, SB, KK, FP, KL, MS and SE conceptualised and designed the study. CW, SB, BF and SE interpreted and analysed the data. All authors reviewed, contributed to and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by Cancer Council New South Wales, Cancer Council Victoria and Cancer Council Western Australia.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Human Research Ethics Committee, Western Sydney University, Approval number H12627.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.