TitleSetting the agenda for a healthy retail environment: content analysis of US newspaper coverage of tobacco control policies affecting the point of sale, 2007-2014.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMyers, AE, Southwell, BG, Ribisl, KM, Moreland-Russell, S, Lytle, LA
JournalTob Control
Date Published07/2017
KeywordsCommerce, Health Policy, Humans, Newspapers as Topic, Tobacco Smoking

BACKGROUND: Tobacco control policies affecting the point of sale (POS) are an emerging intervention, yet POS-related news media content has not been studied.

PURPOSE: We describe news coverage of POS tobacco control efforts and assess relationships between article characteristics, including policy domains, frames, sources, localisation and evidence present, and slant towards tobacco control efforts.

METHODS: High circulation state (n=268) and national (n=5) newspapers comprised the sampling frame. We retrieved 917 relevant POS-focused articles in newspapers from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2014. 5 raters screened and coded articles, 10% of articles were double coded, and mean inter-rater reliability (IRR) was 0.74.

RESULTS: POS coverage emphasised tobacco retailer licensing (49.1% of articles) and the most common frame present was regulation (71.3%). Government officials (52.3%), followed by tobacco retailers (39.6%), were the most frequent sources. Half of articles (51.3%) had a mixed, neutral or antitobacco control slant. Articles presenting a health frame, a greater number of protobacco control sources, and statistical evidence were significantly more likely to also have a protobacco control slant. Articles presenting a political/rights or regulation frame, a greater number of antitobacco control sources, or government, tobacco industry, tobacco retailers, or tobacco users as sources were significantly less likely to also have a protobacco control slant.

CONCLUSIONS: Stories that feature procontrol sources, research evidence and a health frame also tend to support tobacco control objectives. Future research should investigate how to use data, stories and localisation to encourage a protobacco control slant, and should test relationships between content characteristics and policy progression.

Alternate JournalTob Control
PubMed ID27413061
PubMed Central IDPMC5526679
Grant ListU01 CA154281 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States