Mobile coupons: A new way to get cheap tobacco products

Ten different tobacco companies including Marlboro, Skoal, Camel, Newport and Winston now offer mobile coupons that can be redeemed in most places their products are sold. Mobile coupons are marketed as a paperless alternative to direct mail coupons and are more efficient and convenient for the retailers and consumers. Mobile coupons also offer customers more frequent discounts. Where paper coupons are only available once per month, mobile coupons are available up to twice each week from most companies.

Some users can access coupons through mobile apps created by the tobacco companies with names like “Oasis” (Camel), but these apps are not available for iPhone users. In 2017, Apple updated their App Store Review Guidelines to state that Apps encouraging the consumption or facilitating the sale of “tobacco products, illegal drugs, or excessive amounts of alcohol are not permitted in the App Store”. However, Apple users can still access mobile coupons through the internet browser on their phone. Many of the tobacco industry applications and websites utilize the location tracking features of cell phones to track whether a user is inside a designated store, meaning a coupon can only be redeemed if the consumer is within a certain distance of a tobacco retailer.

Mobile coupons are promoted as a cost saving alternative to paper coupons.

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