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Open Access Research article

Point-of-sale tobacco advertising in Beirut, Lebanon following a national advertising ban

Ramzi G Salloum1*, Rima T Nakkash2, Allison E Myers3, Kathryn A Wood4 and Kurt M Ribisl5

Author Affiliations

1 Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1102F McGavran-Greenberg, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

2 Health Promotion and Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

3 Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

4 Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC, USA

5 Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:534  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-534

Published: 3 June 2013

Abstract

Background

The objective of this study was to conduct an audit of point-of-sale (POS) tobacco advertising and assess compliance with an advertising ban in a large district of Beirut, Lebanon.

Methods

The audit was conducted 3 months following the ban on tobacco advertising. Trained students observed all tobacco retail outlets (n = 100) and entered data into a web-based form using iPad® technology. Presence of tobacco advertisements was assessed to determine compliance with the national advertising ban.

Results

Among the 100 tobacco retail outlets, 62% had tobacco advertisements, including 7% with a tobacco brand logo as part of the main exterior store sign.

Conclusions

POS tobacco advertising is widespread in Beirut despite the national advertising ban. These findings point to an urgent need for the enforcement of the advertisement ban with tobacco retail outlets in Lebanon.