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Addict Behav Rep. 2018 Dec 5;9:100149. doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2018.100149. eCollection 2019 Jun.

Disparities in retail marketing for little cigars and cigarillos in Los Angeles, California.

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Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science for Vulnerable Populations, Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, United States of America.



Evidence of a concentration of cigarette advertising in predominantly low-income, non-White neighborhoods underscores the need to examine retail marketing and promotions for novel tobacco products like little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs). We sought to investigate neighborhood racial/ethnic disparities in LCC marketing at retail, including availability, advertising, price promotions, and product placement in Los Angeles, California.


Between January 2016 and April 2017, community health workers (n = 19) conducted in-person observational audits from tobacco retail stores (n = 679) located in zip codes with a high percentage of non-Hispanic White (n = 196), Black (n = 194), Hispanic/Latino (n = 189), or Korean American (n = 100) residents. To account for clustering effect of zip codes, multilevel modeling approach for a dichotomized outcome was conducted to evaluate the association between racial/ethnic neighborhood sample and dependent variables.


Stores located in zip codes with a high percentage of non-Hispanic Blacks had more than eight times higher odds of selling LCCs (OR = 8.10; 95% CI = 3.10-21.11 vs. non-Hispanic White), more than five times higher odds of selling flavored LCCs (OR = 5.20; 95% CI = 2.33-11.61 vs. non-Hispanic White), and more than six times higher odds of displaying storefront exterior LCC signage (OR = 6.03; 95% CI = 2.93-12.40 vs. non-Hispanic White). Stores in Hispanic/Latino and Korean American communities had about three times higher odds of selling LCCs (OR = 3.02; 95% CI = 1.15-7.93 vs. non-Hispanic White; OR = 2.99; 95% CI = 1.33-6.71 vs. non-Hispanic White).


LCCs are heavily marketed in retail establishments in Los Angeles, with disproportionate targeting of predominantly non-White neighborhoods, especially stores in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of African Americans. Local, state, and federal flavor restrictions, minimum pack size standards, preventive messages, and campaigns could counter the influence of LCC marketing in retail establishments.


Little cigars/cigarillos; Racial/ethnic neighborhoods; Retail marketing

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