247159 Reducing tobacco related disparities through point-of-sale regulation: Differential impact of regulating tobacco advertising and sales near schools

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kurt Ribisl, PhD , Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC
Douglas A. Luke, PhD , Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO
Amy A. Sorg, MPH , Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO
There are great disparities in the geographic distribution of tobacco retailers and amount of point of sale (POS) advertising. Some studies show double and triple the number of tobacco retailers in low income and racial and ethnic minority neighborhoods compared to high income and predominantly white neighborhoods. The tobacco industry aggressively prices and markets tobacco products in low income and racially diverse neighborhoods. Scholars have written about the concept of “racialized geography,” which relates race, class, and place. People from similar SES and racial backgrounds often live near each other or cluster together, which allows the tobacco companies to conveniently segment their audience at the POS because they know the neighborhood composition of their tobacco retailers. POS policies have the potential to combat this problem and reverse these disparities. We have geocoded all tobacco retailers in Missouri (n=6012) and New York (n=21988) and linked them with Census tract characteristics. We tested the impact of proximity policies that would either (a) ban the licensing of tobacco retailers or (b) ban outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools. Our preliminary results confirm disparities in the number of tobacco retailers, with more retailers in low income areas. However, a higher proportion of retailers in low income areas are in urban areas, which also have stores located in closer proximity to schools. Thus, proximity-based POS policies will be more effective in reducing youth exposure to POS advertising or banning tobacco sales near schools in lower income and racially diverse neighborhoods.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe how tobacco companies target low income and racial/ethnic populations with advertising at the point of sale. 2. To compare disparities in the number of tobacco retailers in low income and racially diverse neighborhoods. 3. To assess how point-of-sale policies can be used to reverse disparities and actually have greater impact in disadvantaged areas.

Keywords: Tobacco, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a faculty member at the UNC School of Public Health and an established tobacco control researcher.
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.