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Pricing strategies are an effective way to combat tobacco use. Because tobacco prices have a significant effect on initiation and consumption, communities may want to consider strategies that maintain or raise the price of tobacco products. The most common way to accomplish this goal is through raising state cigarette excise taxes. However, non-tax price-related policy interventions also may have a significant public health impact. Such pricing strategies include laws and regulations establishing minimum prices, restricting the use of coupons, prohibiting the distribution of free samples, and limiting price discounts, giveaways, and retail value-added schemes (like “buy-one-get-one” free offers).
Other tobacco product pricing strategies include retailer incentive programs, such as discounts on the retailers’ cost of ordering cigarettes if they agree to place tobacco product displays or post tobacco advertisements in prominent areas of their stores to-consumer marketing, such as the targeted mail distribution of coupons and the creation of websites or toll-free numbers that tobacco users can call to register to receive coupons. This section includes information on many of these tobacco product pricing strategies.