The retail availability of tobacco in Tasmania

Australia is known for its tobacco control measures, including the introduction of plain packaging. This ecological, cross-sectional study describes the retail availability of tobacco and examine evidence of a socio-economic and geographical gradient. As of 31st December 2016, there were 1.54 tobacco retail outlets per 1000 persons. The density of the outlets was 79% greater in suburbs or towns in outer regional, remote and very remote Tasmania compared to inner regional Tasmania. Suburbs or towns with the greatest socio-economic disadvantage had more than twice the number of tobacco outlets per 1000 people as areas of least disadvantage. This study shows a disproportionate concentration of tobacco outlets, and is consistent with findings in New South Wales and Western Australia. These social and geographical gradients may exacerbate the health inequalities experienced by these populations. A supply-focused tobacco control policy is an approach that could further reduce the prevalence of smoking.

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