Tobacco marketed more heavily in city’s minority neighborhoods, study finds

By Laura Otto
UWM Report
August 3, 2018

Tobacco products in Milwaukee are more aggressively marketed in stores in African-American and Latino neighborhoods than in white ones, according to a study led by a public health researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Results are similar to other studies showing that communities with lower incomes, lower educational attainment and more minority residents are targeted with significantly more tobacco promotion. This study is the first to document the trend in Milwaukee, said Linnea Laestadius, assistant professor in the Zilber School of Public Health.

In addition to the disparity, the researchers have identified a state policy obstacle that keeps local governments from enacting more stringent regulation of tobacco advertising. The results were published Aug. 2 in the journal Tobacco Regulatory Science and were presented to the Milwaukee Common Council earlier this year.

The study involved multiple stakeholder organizations, who conducted an audit of promotion and advertising practices at stores in three demographically distinct ZIP code clusters, with a random sample of tobacco retailers drawn from each…

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