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Tobacco regulatory compliance with STAKE Act age-of-sale signage among licensed tobacco retailers across diverse neighborhoods in Southern California.

  • Author(s): Sussman, Steve
  • Cruz, Tess Boley
  • Smiley, Sabrina L
  • Chou, Chih-Ping
  • Unger, Jennifer B
  • Kintz, Natalie
  • Rodriguez, Yaneth L
  • Barahona, Rosa
  • Lienemann, Brianna A
  • Pentz, Mary Ann
  • Samet, Jonathan
  • Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes
  • et al.
Abstract

INTRODUCTION:The California Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act requires licensed tobacco retailers to post minimum age-of-sale signage at the point of sale. This study investigated STAKE Act compliance in licensed tobacco retailers across four racial/ethnic communities in Southern California. METHODS:The sample consisted of 675 licensed tobacco retailers (excluding chain store supermarkets and pharmacies) randomly selected based on zip codes from predominantly non-Hispanic White (n=196), African American (n=193), Hispanic/Latino (n=186), and Korean American (n=100) communities. A protocol for assessing signage was completed at each store by community health workers (promotoras de salud). The law changed from a minimum age of 18 to 21 years (Tobacco 21) during data collection, as of 9 June 2016. Differences in signage compliance were evaluated before and after changes in the State law. RESULTS:Overall, 45% of the stores were compliant with posting the required age-of-sale signage (which varied in minimum age by date of collection); 14% of stores did not have any store interior age-of-sale signs, and 41% of stores had some type of age-of-sale sign but were not compliant with the STAKE Act (e.g. 29.5% of the stores had non-compliant tobacco industry We Card signs but not STAKE Act signs). Stores observed after the 2016 implementation of Tobacco 21 had significantly lower STAKE Act signage compliance rates (38.6%) compared to stores observed before the change in the State law (70.9%) (z=6.8623, p<0.001). The difference in STAKE Act sign compliance between stores located in AA communities (16.9%) and stores located in NHW communities (41.5%) observed within the first three months after the change in law was statistically significant (χ2(1)=20.098, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest the need for prompt, educational outreach to licensed tobacco retailers on age-of-sale signage changes, multiple compliance checks, and enforcement.

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