Point-of-sale tobacco advertising and display bans: Policy evaluation study in five Russian Cities

Ryan David Kennedy, Ashley Grant, Mark Spires, Joanna E. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The tobacco industry uses point-of-sale (POS) advertising, promotion, and product display to increase consumption of its products among current users, to attract new consumers, and to encourage former customers to resume tobacco use. As part of a comprehensive tobacco control effort, Russia-having one of the highest tobacco use prevalence rates in the world-enacted legislation that banned tobacco POS advertising, effective November 15, 2013, and banned the display of tobacco and the sale of cigarettes in kiosks, effective June 1, 2014. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the implementation of the national law by assessing the state of POS advertising, promotion, and product display, and sales in kiosks across Russia. Methods: Two waves of observations were conducted to measure compliance with the POS restrictions: wave 1 took place in April-May 2014 after the advertising ban was in effect and again in August-September 2014 after the display ban and elimination of tobacco sales in kiosks came into effect. Observations were conducted by local trained staff that traveled to 5 populous cities in different regions of Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk). Staff followed a published POS evaluation protocol and used mobile phones to collect data. Observations were conducted in a roughly equal number of supermarket chains, convenience stores, and kiosks. Observed items included advertising at POS, product displays, and cigarette sales in kiosks. Results: Observations were made in 780 venues in wave 1 and in 779 revisited venues in wave 2. In wave 1, approximately a third of supermarkets and convenience stores (34.2%, 184/538) were advertising cigarettes using light boxes, and over half of observed venues (54.3%, 292/538) had signage such as banners or shelf liners that used colors or images related to cigarette brands. Product displays were common in wave 1. In wave 2, compliance with advertising restrictions was very good: there were virtually no light boxes (1.0%, 5/489); banners or shelf liners were observed in 30.5% (149/489) of supermarkets/convenience stores; approximately 7.4% (36/489) of venues were still displaying products in a powerwall. In wave 2, 41.3% (100/242) of kiosks continued to sell tobacco. Conclusions: Russia's compliance with POS bans was excellent. Remaining compliance issues are largely with the use of cigarette brand colors or images used in banners or shelf liners; this type of infraction is more difficult to enforce as inspectors need to be deeply familiar with tobacco industry products and marketing practices. A sizable proportion of kiosks continue to sell tobacco post restrictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52
JournalJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Evaluation
  • Marketing
  • Public health
  • Public policy
  • Russia
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics


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