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To sell or not to sell: cigarette sales in alcohol-licenced premises
  1. Suzan Burton1,
  2. Mark Ludbrooke2,
  3. Kelly Williams2,
  4. Scott C Walsberger2,
  5. Sam Egger2
  1. 1 School of Business, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. 2 Cancer Council New South Wales, Kings Cross, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Suzan Burton, School of Business, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW 2751, Australia; s.burton{at}


Objective To obtain insight into tobacco retailing by alcohol-licenced premises, in order to understand the financial importance of tobacco sales for such retailers.

Method Data were collected by a telephone survey of 1042 clubs, hotels and packaged liquor outlets in New South Wales, Australia. The response rate was 86.1%. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained. Logistic and linear regression were used to determine factors associated with the probability of selling and stopping selling and the importance of cigarette sales.

Results More than a third (36.4%) of premises contacted did not sell cigarettes. 147 (an estimated 18.1% of those who had ever sold) had stopped selling. There were significant differences in the probability of selling, in the reported importance of cigarette sales and in the probability of stopping selling, between different outlet types and other outlet characteristics (number of gaming machines, proximity of nearest alternative tobacco retailer and remoteness). Outlets where alcohol can be consumed were more likely to rate cigarette sales as ‘not important’ than ‘important’.

Conclusions Despite claims by tobacco companies that tobacco sales are important for many Australian retailers, tobacco sales appear to be of limited importance for alcohol-licenced premises. This means that opposition to stopping tobacco sales where alcohol is consumed and/or sold may be less than expected.

  • tobacco industry
  • public policy
  • advertising and promotion

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  • Contributors SB, ML, KW and SCW contributed to the study design and data collection strategy. SE led the data analysis. All authors contributed to manuscript writing and approved the final version of the paper.

  • Funding This research was funded by Cancer Council NSW.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the Western Sydney University Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.