Cigarette availability and price in low and high socioeconomic areas
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2013 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 37, Issue 4, pages 371–376, August 2013
How to Cite
Dalglish, E., McLaughlin, D., Dobson, A. and Gartner, C. (2013), Cigarette availability and price in low and high socioeconomic areas. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 37: 371–376. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12086
- Issue published online: 30 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
- Submitted: November 2012 Revision requested: January 2013 Accepted: February 2013
- socioeconomic status;
- tobacco retail density;
- cigarette affordability;
- cigarette availability
Objective: To determine whether tobacco retailer density and cigarette prices differ between low and high socioeconomic status suburbs in South-East Queensland.
Methods: A survey of retail outlets selling cigarettes was conducted in selected suburbs over a two-day period. The suburbs were identified by geographical cluster sampling based on their Index of Relative Socio-economic Advantage and Disadvantage score and size of retail complex within the suburb. All retail outlets within the suburb were visited and the retail prices for the highest ranking Australian brands were recorded at each outlet.
Results: A significant relationship was found between Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage score (in deciles) and the number of tobacco retail outlets (r=0.93, p=0.003), with the most disadvantaged suburbs having a greater number of tobacco retailers. Results also demonstrate that cigarettes were sold in a broader range of outlets in suburbs of low SES. The average price of the packs studied was significantly lower in the most disadvantaged suburbs compared to the most advantaged. While cigarettes were still generally cheaper in the most disadvantaged suburbs, the difference was no longer statistically significant when the average price of cigarette packs was compared according to outlet type (supermarket, newsagent, etc).
Conclusions: In South-East Queensland, cigarettes are more widely available in the most disadvantaged suburbs and at lower prices than in the most advantaged suburbs.