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The retail availability of tobacco in Tasmania: evidence for a socio-economic and geographical gradient

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 17:38 authored by Melody, SM, Martin-Gall, V, Harding, B, Veitch, MGK
Objectives: To describe the retail availability of tobacco and to examine the association between tobacco outlet density and area-level remoteness and socio-economic status classification in Tasmania.

Design: Ecological cross-sectional study; analysis of tobacco retail outlet data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services (Tasmania) according to area-level (Statistical Areas Level 2) remoteness (defined by the Remoteness Structure of the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard) and socio-economic status (defined by the 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage).

Main Outcome Measure: Tobacco retail outlet density per 1000 residents.

Results: On 31 December 2016, there were 1.54 tobacco retail outlets per 1000 persons. The density of outlets was 79% greater in suburbs or towns in outer regional, remote and very remote Tasmania than in inner regional Tasmania (rate ratio [RR], 1.79; 95% confidence Interval [CI], 1.29-2.50; P < 0.001). Suburbs or towns in Tasmania with the greatest socio-economic disadvantage had more than twice the number of tobacco outlets per 1000 people as areas of least disadvantage (RR, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.32-4.21; P = 0.014).

Conclusions: A disproportionate concentration of tobacco retail outlets in regional and remote Tasmania and in areas of lowest socio-economic status is evident. Our findings are consistent with those of analyses in New South Wales and Western Australia. Progressive tobacco retail restrictions have been proposed as the next frontier in tobacco control. However, the intended and unintended consequences of such policies need to be investigated, particularly for socio-economically deprived and rural areas.


Publication title

Medical Journal of Australia










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Australasian Med Publ Co Ltd

Place of publication

Level 1, 76 Berry St, Sydney, Australia, NSW, 2060

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 AMPCo Pty Ltd. Produced with Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Socio-economic Objectives

Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified

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