New Smokeless Tobacco Products: Experiences of a Test Market State


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5th National Summit on Smokless & Spit Tobacco, 9.09

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  • Picture is from Camel 7 Pleasures of the Exotic promotion in 2003
  • Since 1998, companies have given away over 2.5 million packs of cigarettes in Oregon. These cigarettes had a retail price of $8.86 million. Since 1999, companies have given away non-cigarette tobacco products with a retail price of $4.12 million. Methods Tobacco companies that give out free samples of tobacco products pay taxes on them. The Oregon Department of Revenue keeps quarterly data on taxes paid on tobacco products, and has a form for reporting gratis products. These data do not include in-store promotions (e.g., buy one get one free). Cigarette packs given away that carry Oregon tax stamps are not included in these data. Only promotional packs (often containing 5 cigarettes) that do not carry tax stamps are included. The tax is paid for each cigarette; the chart shows the number of packs that correspond to the number of cigarettes given away. Average pack price per year came from The Tax Burden on Tobacco, volume 43 (Orzechowski & Walker, 2008). Non-cigarette tobacco products are taxed at 65% of the wholesale price. From the amount of revenue collected, we can compute the wholesale price of the products given away. To compute retail prices, I use a standard retailer markup of 18%. That's because these are data on taxes paid by manufacturers. When packs of cigarettes are handed out that already have Oregon tax stamps, we can't distinguish them from packs sold at retail. If a tobacco company wants to hand out packs directly, however, they just report to DOR how many they handed out and pay the appropriate taxes. I've heard that these promotional packs often only contain 5 cigarettes, but I haven't verified that with anyone. (Packs with only 5 cigarettes would have to be reported by the manufacturers, since Oregon doesn't have a stamp for a 5 cigarette pack.)
  • We have a comprehensive, best practices-based program, but funding was cut in 2003 and has been limited since Despite some flat-lining during the cut, usage is on the decline among adults and youth The Indoor Clean Air Act covered most businesses since 2001, exempting bars until 1/1/09
  • Rural males primary users, the younger they are, the higher the prevalence 25-34 year old males: 9.7%, 35-44: 8.9%
  • WA law passed 2006
  • Aggressive, colorful, omnipresent marketing in stores, in newspapers, on storefronts, direct mail, discount coupons, promotional events
  • Aggressive, colorful, omnipresent marketing in stores, in newspapers, on storefronts, direct mail, discount coupons, promotional events
  • All this begs the question: Why us!?
  • Noticeable all over town because they were so heavy they dropped out of the paper. The newspaper stopped taking them and RJR went to a smaller version. But they were obviously working hard to create buzz and reposition smokeless tobacco.
  • What are the 3 reasons for riding a bike? You’re poor, you’re a kid, or you live in Portland!
  • With limited resources to conduct campaigns or robust monitoring, what can programs do?? Coordinated with Media Network through OSH to craft messages
  • In fact, I used coupons to purchase the product for Lois and the owner offered me free samples, saying the rep had told him to give them out for free.
  • U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., wrote an amendment to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requiring the newly created Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee to study the health effects of dissolvable tobacco candy products and report its findings to the Food and Drug Administration
  • The FDA regulations do not include a ban on sampling smokeless tobacco, so we will most likely look at this again. We are continuing to monitor, to the best of our ability, the types of promotional activities, including Copenhagen events at rodeos, to build an evidence base.
  • New Smokeless Tobacco Products: Experiences of a Test Market State

    1. 1. New Smokeless Tobacco Products: Experiences of a Test Market State Kylie Menagh, MPH Oregon Public Health Division [email_address]
    2. 2. Today, we’ll talk about <ul><li>Promotions/Sampling background </li></ul><ul><li>Camel Snus: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test-Marketing & Messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Health Response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Camel Dissolvables: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Test-Marketing & Messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Health Response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ What’s Next?” </li></ul>
    3. 3. Tobacco Promotion in Oregon <ul><li>Since 1998 (at least) : Marlboro & Camel nights, rodeo sponsorship, racing team, Lorillard Hoop It Up </li></ul><ul><li>2006-7: Camel Snus test marketed </li></ul><ul><li>2007: Camel No. 9 promoted heavily </li></ul><ul><li>2009: Camel Orbs, Strips, Sticks test marketed </li></ul>A “Lite” history of tobacco promotions:
    4. 4. Tobacco Sampling in Oregon* *not including in-store giveaways, or tax-stamped cigarette packs <ul><li>Since 1999, tobacco companies have given away $4.12 million’s worth of non-cigarette tobacco products </li></ul>
    5. 5. So, Why Portland? Why Oregon? <ul><li>Portland is an urban population, known for being liberal, young, and edgy… but we are also primarily a rural state </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why Oregon? We have a best practices-based, policy-focused, comprehensive tobacco control program… but program cuts have reduced local capacity to monitor and respond
    7. 7. Why test smokeless in Oregon? <ul><li>Smokeless tobacco use in Oregon is pretty similar to the rest of the country </li></ul>13.6% 11 th Grade Males 5% 8 th Grade Males 8% Rural Adult Males 9% Males, 18-24 6.5% Adult Males
    8. 8. Why Oregon? <ul><li>Twice as many cigarettes sampled in OR than WA... we have half the population </li></ul><ul><li>Washington state licenses and monitors tobacco sampling 70.155.050 </li></ul><ul><li>California has a robust monitoring system </li></ul><ul><li>Portland seems to be the preferred test market on the West Coast </li></ul>
    9. 9. Camel Snus… <ul><li>Rhymes with Noose </li></ul>
    10. 10. 2006: Camel Snus comes to Portland, OR, & Austin, TX <ul><li>Snus is a moist snuff product that comes in small, teabag-like pouches. </li></ul><ul><li>Steam-cured rather than fire-cured. </li></ul><ul><li>Not fermented. </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t cause spitting. </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily consumed in Norway and Sweden, until recently introduced to the US by RJR, PM, and Lorillard. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Highly Visible in Stores <ul><li>Neon-lit, refrigerated displays on counter tops </li></ul><ul><li>“ How To” Brochures </li></ul><ul><li>Storefront posters </li></ul><ul><li>Sandwich board signs on sidewalks </li></ul><ul><li>Signs on telephone poles </li></ul>
    12. 12. In-store Brochures: Messages?
    13. 13. Direct Mail: Messages <ul><li>Coupons </li></ul><ul><li>Collectible tins </li></ul><ul><li>Reframing smokeless tobacco for new audiences… “not dip” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Get the pleasure, avoid the smoke” </li></ul><ul><li>Package has been redesigned to look more like a cell phone, less like a can of chew </li></ul>
    14. 14. Alternative Weekly Newspaper Inserts & Ads <ul><li>“ The Abridged Guide to Snusing” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At least 3 different editions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Pleasure for Wherever” </li></ul><ul><li>Positioned as urbane, adventurous, and convenient to use in “the infinite list of places and circumstances where it is appropriate to Snus”… (and it is illegal to smoke) </li></ul>
    15. 15. How to Snus: Messages?
    16. 16. Where to Snus: Messages?
    17. 17. Alternative Weekly Newspaper Ads: Messages?
    18. 18. Online
    19. 19. Response: Media Advocacy <ul><li>Key Messages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeting kids </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketed as something discreet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Appeals to kids </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Undermines quitting intentions due to smokefree workplaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Addictive and harmful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not a healthy alternative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not a cessation product </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Response: Media Advocacy <ul><li>&quot;I see it as a young adult marketing strategy, and we have a lot of hip young adults in this city,&quot; Cushing said. And &quot;if it appeals to a 22-year-old, I think you can assume it will appeal to a 16-year-old. Because what do 16-year-olds want to be? Twenty-two.“ </li></ul><ul><li>The Tobacco-Free Coalition of Oregon's Tabithia Engle was blunter. &quot;Nicotine is an extremely addictive drug,&quot; she said. &quot;The tobacco industry is in Oregon trying to hook our kids.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Oregonian. Snus: No smoke, no spit, but many worry about kids. Sunday, January 07, 2007 </li></ul>
    21. 21. Response: monitoring <ul><li>BRFSS </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinated with national partners (Lois Biener, Bob Anderson) to support their research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring marketing messages </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Now what?? <ul><li>And then in 2007… </li></ul>
    23. 23. Camel No. 9
    24. 24. Camel No. 9
    25. 25. And what now?! <ul><li>2009 </li></ul>
    26. 26. Wall Street Journal. Sept. 14, 2008 Reynolds moves to be on top when smoke clears: Dissolvable tobacco offered as smoking bans proliferate; critics say it looks like candy <ul><li>“ R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is introducing three dissolvable smokeless products in its latest bid to make its tobacco more accessible within a society that's clamping down on smoking.” </li></ul>
    27. 27. 2009: Camel Dissolvables <ul><li>2009: Camel Orbs, Strips, Sticks </li></ul><ul><li>Tested in Portland, OR; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN </li></ul><ul><li>What are they? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finely milled tobacco held together with food-grade binders </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    28. 28. Any familiar messages here?
    29. 29. Dissolvables: Alternative Weekly Newspaper inserts with coupons
    30. 30. Online
    31. 31. And, of course, at a store near you
    32. 32. Response: Media Advocacy <ul><li>“ The tobacco industry is gearing up to trump anti-smoking legislation by peddling new dissolvable nicotine products -- still addictive and risky like cigarettes, but without the smoke.” </li></ul>
    33. 33. Response: Local Media Advocacy <ul><li>Medford, OR </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The increase of smokeless tobacco use here among teens is significant and alarming — and dissolvable tobacco is just as addictive as smoking,&quot; said Stevenson. </li></ul><ul><li>Also described health effects </li></ul><ul><li>TV coverage </li></ul>
    34. 34. Response: Public Policy <ul><li>Assisted Sen. Merkeley’s office </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>“ In response to a drop in the number of cigarette smokers and new laws limiting smoking in public, Big Tobacco has resorted to outrageous tactics to hook a new generation of our children on tobacco.” </li></ul><ul><li>Same key messages </li></ul>
    35. 35. Oregon Legislative Efforts <ul><li>HB 2358: Non-cigarette Tobacco Sampling Ban </li></ul><ul><li>Providing free tobacco samples is a deliberate method for recruiting new and younger tobacco users, who often become addicted to tobacco for life. </li></ul><ul><li>This bill was meant to help prevent Oregon youth from starting to use tobacco products, preventing future tobacco-related deaths and health care costs. </li></ul><ul><li>Passed the House with a vote of 49 to 11 but died in committee in the Senate </li></ul>
    36. 36. What WILL they think up next??? <ul><li>Will we see an increase in smokeless use? </li></ul><ul><li>Will new populations initiate smokeless? </li></ul><ul><li>Will we see dual usage? </li></ul><ul><li>Will we see reductions in tobacco cessation? </li></ul><ul><li>Public Health will be there… </li></ul><ul><li>monitoring, educating, advocating </li></ul>