SAVI Community Trends Report: Unequal Access Tobacco Epidemic Report 2017 FINAL - Page 4

SAVI community trends » unequal access: tobacco retail in the indianapolis metro area Unequal Access: Tobacco Retail in the Indianapolis Metro Area in the case of tobacco products and tobacco marketing, greater access by and to marginal- ized populations is the troublesome inequity. Unequal Access Tobacco is a notable health threat in Indiana with over 11,000 Hoosier lives taken annually, [1] and vulnerable populations have far more retail access 1 to tobacco than do other segments of the population. The local density and accessi- bility of tobacco retail outlets not only provide vulnerable populations with greater access to tobacco products, [2-6] but they also provide the tobacco industry with greater access to vulnerable populations in terms of point-of- sale (POS) marketing. [7-13] While unequal access typically refers to less access to a desirable resource by marginalized populations, Differences in life expectancy do not occur randomly. 2 [14] Some populations have greater access to health-promoting and health-pro- tecting resources; others have greater access, or exposure, to potential health threats. In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, tobacco is more readily availability in areas that already struggle with quality-of-life issues. Why should we care? What can we do about it? Higher poverty, lower education… and targeted by tobacco. Why should we care? What can we do about it? In this report, we explore these questions and share results of our analysis of tobacco access across the Indianapolis metro area. industry has retained its presence in the U.S., with over 375,000 tobacco retailers. [19] The tobacco industry also spends almost $8.5 billion annually on promotion. [20] Where Tobacco Prevails Since 1964, smoking rates among U.S. adults have decreased from 42% to 15% because of ongoing public health efforts. [15-18] Despite this positive trend, smoking continues to exact a heavy toll on the nation’s health, with one in every five deaths in the U.S. due to diseases known to be caused by chemicals in tobacco smoke. [6] Although the harmful effects of tobacco are now widely known, the tobacco Based on smoking statistics, tobacco use is an even greater problem in Indiana and in India- napolis than in the country as a whole. In 2016, the adult smoking rates of the five healthiest states ranged from 9.1 to 13.8%. Indiana ranks 1 While the term exposure is typically used when discussing environment toxicants, we are instead using the term access because we are measuring accessibility of retail tobacco sites. In July 2015, at our last health-focused SAVI Talks! event, we unveiled the Worlds Apart: Gaps in Life Expectancy in the Indianapolis Metro Area report ( 2 4 2