Point-of-Sale Advertising

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Point-of-sale (POS) cigarette advertising and promotions can significantly impact consumer decision-making, from increasing smoking experimentation in youth to encouraging unplanned tobacco purchases among adults. “Testing Tobacco Ad Restrictions and Counter Ads in a 3D Virtual Retail Store” will use virtual immersion methodology to examine the point-of-sale environment and how it can be changed to influence consumer behavior.

Led by Matthew Farrelly, Chief Scientist and Senior Director with the Public Health Policy Research Program at RTI International, this research uses an innovative virtual reality setting, known as the Tobacco iShoppe, to create a virtual convenience store environment. 3D gaming software and eye tracking technology allow the experiments to test the impact on consumer behavior of modifying multiple factors, including point-of-sale tobacco ads, display restrictions, product mix changes and health warnings.

The Tobacco iShoppe also will use randomized controlled experiments to test the impact of policy options in regulating the POS setting. Results will quantify changes in the number of cigarette purchase attempts for youth and adults, the number of quit attempts by demographic characteristics and the urges to smoke for adults. Policy-relevant data will be produced, showing the potential impact of restricting or countering tobacco marketing efforts in this environment.



Annice Kim, Co-Investigator, RTI International
Brett Loomis, Co-Investigator, RTI International
James Nonnemaker, Co-Investigator, RTI International