203960 For South Asian merchant compliance with California's STAKE ACT, constant vigilance helps

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ranjeeta Chhetry, MPH , CHAI Tobacco Control, South Asian Network, Artesia, CA
Rajwinder Kaur, MPHc , Ladoos: Pink and Blue, Jakara Movement, Clovis, CA
Hamid Khan, BA , CHAI Tobacco Control, South Asian Network, Artesia, CA
William McCarthy, PhD , Department of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background: California's STAKE Act prohibits all retailers of tobacco products from selling tobacco products to minors. Many retailers in California's South Asian communities are not aware that this law also prohibits the sale of such South Asian smokeless tobacco products as Gutka, paan masala and Zarda. Merchant surveys and direct observation of retail stores were used to established compliance status. A health education campaign targeted initially noncompliant stores.

Method: A pre-post uncontrolled design was used to evaluate the 6-month impact of a tobacco control health education effort targeted to the subset of 68 merchants who were non-compliant with the State's STAKE Act.

Main results: Nearly 30 percent of merchants at baseline were not aware of STAKE Act requirements. At 6-month follow-up, 100% of the merchants knew what state law required. Consistent with the improved knowledge of the law, compliance with the law improved from 43% to 82%. On the downside, 28% of the stores [N=8] that were initially compliant and therefore did not receive education about the STAKE Act, were NOT compliant with the STAKE Act at follow-up assessment.

Conclusions and recommendations: The merchant tobacco use prevention education program was effective in increasing knowledge and increasing merchants' compliance with the STAKE Act. Health education should target initially compliant stores as well as non-compliant stores for maximum impact. Getting merchants to agree to publicize their store's compliance with the STAKE Act also appears to increase compliance at 6 months follow-up.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss South Asian merchant compliance with California's STAKE Act. Discuss strategies for educating South Asian merchants whose stores were initially non-compliant. Discuss why 28 percent of South Asian merchants with stores that were initially compliant were found to be noncompliant 6 months later.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Youth Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and carried out the merchant education intervention, the baseline and follow-up surveys and contributed to the analysis and report writing involved in the study presented here.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.