Jul 31, 2019

Rural-urban disparities in tobacco retail access in the southeastern United States: CVS vs. the dollar stores

Preventive Medicine Reports
Jaclyn HallRamzi G Salloum


CVS, the largest US pharmacy chain, discontinued selling tobacco products in 2014; meanwhile, Family Dollar and Dollar General, the two largest dollar store chains, began selling tobacco in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the differential change in tobacco retailer density (TRD) by rurality throughout 12 Southeastern US states. Tobacco retailer density was calculated for CVS and dollar store locations and combined to represent retailer density change before and after policy changes. Bivariate analyses were conducted to compare the corporate-initiated changes in county-level retailer density across rurality categories. Findings suggest a statistically significant difference (p < 0.0001) between TRD effect and rurality. Urban counties together experienced a retailer density increase of 0.4 stores per 10 k adult population, while rural counties reported a TRD increase of 2.6-eight (8) times the increase in urban areas. Recent corporate policy changes on tobacco sales have increased access to tobacco retailers in rural counties considerably more than in urban counties, contributing to further disparities. CVS pharmacies discontinuing tobacco sales caused a decrease in retail density in urban ar...Continue Reading

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