South Australia's tobacco retail landscape and its intersection with socioeconomic factors and smoking prevalence

Julia N. Morris, Jennifer Baldock, Joshua Trigg, Jason Blunt, Liam Blanden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Issues addressed:
Tobacco product availability is higher in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, which can further widen tobacco-related health and disease burden inequities. This study aimed to describe retail availability of tobacco products in South Australia and examine the association between tobacco vendor location, population's socioeconomic status (SES) and tobacco smoking prevalence.

Cross-sectional 2022 tobacco vendor licence data and 2021-2022 state-wide population health survey data from the South Australian Department of Health were used. Tobacco vendors were enumerated by Statistical Area 2 (SA2) using geocoding software, with SA2s assigned health survey derived smoking prevalence, SES, remoteness category, area size, and population size.

As of 2022, there were 1723 tobacco vendors in South Australia and the overall tobacco smoking prevalence across the state was 11.8%. Regression analyses indicated that tobacco vendor density increased with socioeconomic disadvantage and geographic remoteness, and that smoking prevalence was higher in low SES areas. Vendor density was not related to smoking prevalence.

Findings are consistent with existing research indicating greater tobacco availability in socially disadvantaged areas. This supports that tobacco vendor saturation may be directed to areas in a way that promotes tobacco availability for vulnerable populations. Our finding that smoking prevalence was unrelated to tobacco availability contrasts existing literature and should be carefully interpreted. SO WHAT?: This is the first study to map tobacco retailers across South Australia, contributing needed evidence on the intersection of tobacco vendor density, social disadvantage, and smoking prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Early online date21 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Aug 2023


  • Australia
  • density
  • remoteness
  • smoking
  • socioeconomic status
  • tobacco


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