Cynthia Begay, MPH, Claradina Soto, PhD, MPH, Lourdes
Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MPH, Rosa Barahona, BA, Yaneth L.
Rodriguez, MPH, Jennifer B. Unger, PhD, Sabrina L. Smiley, PhD,
January 2020 Vol. 21, Suppl 1 18S–26S
Retail settings are major channels for the tobacco industry to market commercial tobacco products. However, few studies have examined marketing strategies on Tribal lands. The resulting evidence is important, especially given that American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth and adults have the highest smoking prevalence of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. In this study, we examined cigarette, e-cigarette, and vape/vaporizer availability, advertising, and price-reducing promotions in retail settings on and within a 1-mile radius of Tribal lands in California. Method. Trained AI/AN community health representatives (n = 8) conducted store observations (n = 96) using a checklist adapted from the Standardized Tobacco Assessment for Retail Settings observation tool. Chi-square analyses were performed to look for potential differences in availability, exterior advertising, and price promotions for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vapes between stores. Results. All stores sold cigarettes and over 95% sold menthol cigarettes. Nearly 25% of stores on Tribal lands were located inside a casino, and 40.4% of stores on Tribal lands offered a Tribal member discount. Stores within a 1-mile radius of Tribal lands sold significantly (p < .01) more e-cigarettes (69.8%), including flavored e-cigarettes (53.4%), compared to stores on Tribal lands (37.7% and 28.3%, respectively). Price promotions for cigarettes were significantly (p < .01) more common in stores located within a 1-mile radius of Tribal lands (46.5%) than stores on Tribal lands (22.6%). Discussion. To our knowledge, this study is the first to use store observations to examine cigarette and e-cigarette availability, advertising, and price promotions in retail settings on and near California Tribal lands. We recommend future studies build on our initial efforts to take an AI/AN Tribal community-engaged approach in assessing and documenting tobacco marketing practices on and near Tribal lands. Tribal governments can consider tobacco policies to help reduce smoking disparities and advance health equity for their communities.