New tobacco products, old advertising strategies: Point-of-sale advertising in Guatemala

Joaquin Barnoya, DIego Monzon, Jose Pinetta, Graziele Grilo, Joanna E. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective Capsule cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and heated tobacco products (HTPs) are now readily available in Guatemala. As in most countries, the point-of-sale (POS) remains an important marketing channel for the tobacco industry. Therefore, we sought to characterise the POS marketing of these products in the two largest cities in Guatemala. Methods Convenience stores were randomly surveyed in mid and high socioeconomic status (SES) neighbourhoods in Guatemala City (n=60) and Quetzaltenango (n=15) in 2019. We adapted a previously implemented checklist to assess the availability of interior advertising of capsule cigarettes, e-cigarettes and HTP. Data entry was done in Kobo toolbox and analysis in STATA. Results All stores sold conventional and flavoured capsule cigarettes, 78% e-cigarettes and 68% HTP. Most cigarette advertising was for capsule cigarettes. E-cigarettes were more likely to be sold in Guatemala City (96%) than in Quetzaltenango (13%). HTPs were only found in Guatemala City (85%), with no difference between high and medium SES neighbourhoods. Median number of ads for cigarettes and capsule cigarettes was higher in the high SES neighbourhood. Most e-cigarettes (83%) and HTP (74%) were found <50 cm from candy. E-cigarettes and HTP were available in a wide range of flavours. All stores that sold HTP had flavoured HEETS (amber, bronze, turquoise, yellow, blue and purple). Conclusion We found a high prevalence of advertising for capsule cigarettes, e-cigarettes and HTP at the POS. The POS, a crucial advertising channel for the tobacco industry, is now being used for new products and therefore needs to be urgently regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-593
Number of pages3
JournalTobacco control
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • advertising and promotion
  • electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • upper-middle income country

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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