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Commercial Tobacco Retailing in Tribal Jurisdictions: A Field Study

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Objectives: Our objective was to provide data contrasting commercial tobacco retailing in Tribal versus non-Tribal jurisdictions, in 3 states. These data may be relevant for US Food and Drug Administration regulation of Tribal retailing. Methods: With Tribal permission, observations were made on commercial tobacco advertising, product variety, pricing, and retail concept for stores within and just outside Tribal jurisdictions in areas of Arizona (AZ), California (CA), and Oklahoma (OK). Results: A total of 87 Tribal (20 AZ, 53 CA, 14 OK) and 67 (10, 43, 14) non-Tribal retailer visits were completed. There was substantial variation across tribes, with sales in AZ and most CA Tribal jurisdictions handled at convenience stores, whereas OK Tribal retailing was done mostly in specialized tobacco-specialty shops. Electronic cigarettes were ubiquitous across Tribal and non-Tribal outlets. Advertising and breadth of cigarette offerings was most extensive in the tobacco specialty retailers of Tribal OK. Surprisingly, Tribally manufactured cigarettes were found only at some CA Tribal retailers. Conclusions: Some Tribal commercial tobacco outlets actually price above their non-Tribal competitors and there is substantial variation in retailing strategy across Tribal jurisdictions. Tribal governments can continue to evaluate and reform commercial tobacco retailing so as to improve Tribal health.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fritz L. Laux, Professor of Economics, Northeastern State University, Department of Accounting and Finance, Broken Arrow, OK, United States;, Email: [email protected] 2: Patricia Nez Henderson, Vice President, Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, Rapid City, SD, United States 3: Claradina Soto, Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, Los Angeles, CA, United States 4: Gregg Moor, Project Manager, InSource Research Group, Coquitlam, BC, Canada 5: Scott J. Leischow, Professor and Director of Clinical and Translational Science, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, United States

Publication date: March 1, 2021

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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