The objective of this study was to assess the potential for reducing the harm resulting from tobacco use through health promotion programmes run in community stores in remote Aboriginal communities. The Tobacco Project utilised data from 111 stakeholder interviews (72 at baseline and 71 at follow-up after 12 months) assessing presence of sales to minors, tobacco advertising, labelling and pricing. It also involved the assessment of observational data from community stores and comments obtained from 29 tobacco vendors derived from community surveys. Sales of tobacco to minors were not reported in community stores and all stores complied with requirements to display the legislated signage. However, tobacco was accessible to minors through a vending machine and through independent vendors. Only one store displayed tobacco advertising; all stores had displayed anti-tobacco health promotion posters or pamphlets. Pricing policies in two stores may have meant that food items effectively subsidised the cost of tobacco. All stores had unofficial no-smoking policies in accessible parts of the store. Remote community stores complied with existing legislation, aside from allowing access of minors to vending machines. There may still be potential for proactive tobacco education campaigns run through community stores and for a trial assessing the effect of changes in tobacco prices on tobacco consumption.
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