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Boosting the Tobacco Control Vaccine: recognizing the role of the retail environment in addressing tobacco use and disparities
  1. Amanda Y. Kong1,
  2. Brian A. King2
  1. 1Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Amanda Y. Kong, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; akong2{at}


Much of the progress in reducing cigarette smoking and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality among youth and adults is attributable to population-level strategies previously described in the context of the Tobacco Control Vaccine. The retail environment is used heavily by the tobacco industry to promote and advertise its products, and variations in exposure to and characteristics of the retail environment exist across demographic groups. It is therefore also an essential environment for further reducing smoking, as well as ameliorating racial, ethnic and socioeconomic tobacco-related disparities. This commentary provides an overview of the importance of incorporating strategies focused on the tobacco retailer environment (availability; pricing and promotion; advertising and display; age of sale; and retail licensure) as part of a comprehensive approach to tobacco prevention and control. To reach tobacco endgame targets, such innovative strategies are a complement to, but not a replacement for, long-standing evidence-based components of the Tobacco Control Vaccine.

  • disparities
  • end game
  • environment
  • priority/special populations
  • public policy

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  • Twitter @AmandaYKong

  • Contributors AYK and BAK conceived the idea. AYK led the drafting of the article. AYK and BAK critically revised and approved the final article.

  • Funding AYK received funding from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number F31CA239331.

  • Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work.

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