Background: Non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives (NH AI/AN) have the highest commercial tobacco use (CTU) among U.S. racial/ethnic groups. Tobacco marketing is a risk factor, however few studies examine it among NH AI/AN. Objective: We identified prevalence of tobacco industry marketing exposure and correlates of CTU among NH AI/AN compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Methods: Data were from wave 1 (2013–2014; N = 32,320) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, analyzing self-reported exposure to tobacco ads from stores, tobacco package displays, direct mail and email marketing. Correlates of CTU were identified and interactions between racial/ethnic groups and tobacco marketing were assessed. Results: NH AI/AN (n = 955) had a higher prevalence of exposure to retail tobacco ads (64.5% vs 59.3%; p < 0.05), mail (20.2% vs.14.3%; p < 0.001) and email (17.0% vs.10.6%; p < 0.001) marketing than NH Whites (n = 19,297). Adjusting for tobacco use and related risk factors, exposure to email marketing remained higher among NH AI/AN than NH Whites. Interactions between racial/ethnic groups and marketing exposures on CTU were nonsignificant. CTU was higher among NH AI/AN than NH Whites and among adults who reported exposure to tobacco ads, mail, and email marketing. Conclusions/importance: There is higher tobacco marketing exposure in stores and via mail for NH AI/AN. Email marketing exposure was higher, even after controlling for tobacco-related risk factors. The tobacco industry may be targeting NH AI/AN through emails, which include coupons and other marketing promotions. Culturally relevant strategies that counter-act tobacco industry direct marketing tactics are needed to reduce disparities in this population.
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