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Studies of retail environment, one of the social determinants of health, document racial/ethnic disparities in exposure to alcohol and tobacco (A and T) retailers, but have largely overlooked nativity. We examined associations between A and T retailer density and rates of foreign-born Latinx and foreign-born Asian residents in California census tracts (N = 7888), using spatial regressions and controlling for population and ecological confounders (e.g., population density, zoning, residential instability, urbanicity). Socio-demographic data came from the American Community Survey (2012–2016); census tract density of A and T retailers came from geocoded addresses from state license data for off-sale alcohol distributors and purchased data on tobacco retailers from a commercial provider. Models predicting A and T tract retailer density showed that the rate of foreign-born Latinx residents was associated with higher tobacco retailer density but lower alcohol retailer density, and demonstrate no significant associations between rate of foreign-born Asian residents tobacco and alcohol retail density. Retail environment could contribute to observed declines in immigrant health over time in the US and across generations.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health in 2021 following peer review. The final publication may differ and is available at Springer via

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Available for download on Friday, September 30, 2022