Marketing tobacco at the point of sale: a survey of 675 tobacco shops in Mumbai, India
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Salaam Bombay Foundation, Tobacco Control & Advocacy, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A262
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Tobacco product advertisements at the point of sale (POS) are an important means for the tobacco industry to market to kids. POS advertisements make tobacco products accessible and desirable to children. Evidence shows that exposure to and promotion of tobacco advertisements is positively correlated with smoking among children. However, little research has explored the POS advertisement environment in Mumbai.

A survey was conducted to document POS advertisements at 675 tobacco shops in Mumbai in 2015. Information was collected on advertisements of tobacco brands, newer tactics of advertisements without brand name and placement of board about the ban on tobacco sales to minors facing away from the consumers.

The survey found that 35.8% (n=242) shops had advertisements for tobacco products. More than half of shops with ads (52.6%,n=355) had advertisements from Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) and 21% (n=142) of shops had had advertisements by Godfrey Phillips. 42.6% (n=288) of tobacco shops reported tobacco advertisements without display of brand name. Only 12.4% (n=84) of tobacco shops posted the required board about the ban on sales to minors.

The display of point-of-sale advertisements in Mumbai is being driven by a limited number of brands and two national tobacco companies. Without these brands and the companies behind them, the tobacco advertisement market would look substantially different. The existing tobacco control law should be amended to curb the new tactics of these big tobacco companies targeting the youth.