Price discounting of cigarettes in milk bars near secondary schools occurs more frequently in areas with greater socioeconomic disadvantage

Aust N Z J Public Health. 2011 Feb;35(1):71-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00636.x. Epub 2010 Dec 9.


Objective: To examine differences in price discounting of cigarettes in milk bars located near secondary schools in metropolitan areas of Victoria, according to neighbourhood socioeconomic status (SES).

Method: Milk bars within one km of randomly selected secondary schools in Victorian metropolitan areas were audited to assess the advertised price of the most popular cigarette brands.

Results: Cigarette brands were available below the recommended retail price (RRP) at between 10% to 14% of the 62 milk bars visited. Price discounting was occurring significantly more frequently in areas of lower SES, with between 23% and 33% of milk bars in these neighbourhoods selling the leading cigarette brands at below RRP.

Conclusions: Price discounting was found to be occurring to a greater extent in milk bars near secondary schools in low SES areas compared to mid to high SES areas.

Implications: Promotional tools that make cigarettes more affordable risk undermining efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, especially in price sensitive populations of lower SES.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Commerce
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing / methods*
  • Poverty Areas
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Schools*
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students / psychology
  • Tobacco Industry*
  • Victoria