The impact of the tobacco retail outlet environment on adult cessation and differences by neighborhood poverty

Jennifer Cantrell, Andrew Anesetti-Rothermel, Jennifer L. Pearson, Haijun Xiao, Donna Vallone, Thomas R. Kirchner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: This study examined the impact of tobacco retail outlets on cessation outcomes over time among non-treatment-seeking smokers and assessed differences by neighborhood poverty and individual factors. Design: Observational longitudinal cohort study using geospatial data. We used generalized estimating equations to examine cessation outcomes in relation to the proximity and density of tobacco retail outlets near the home. Setting: Eight large Designated Media Areas across the United States. Participants: A total of 2377 baseline smokers followed over three waves from 2008 to 2010. Measurements: Outlet addresses were identified through North American Industry Classification System codes and proximity and density measures were constructed for each participant at each wave. Outcomes included past 30-day abstinence and pro-cessation attitudes. Findings: Smokers in high poverty census tracts living between 500m and 1.9km from an outlet were over two times more likely to be abstinent than those living fewer than 500m from an outlet (P<0.05). Density within 500m of home was associated with reduced abstinence [odds ratio (OR)=0.94; confidence interval (CI)=0.90, 0.98) and lower pro-cessation attitudes (Coeff=-0.07, CI=-0.10, -0.03) only in high poverty areas. In low poverty areas, density within 500m was associated with greater pro-cessation attitudes (OR=0.06; CI=0.01, 0.12). Gender, education and heaviness of smoking did not moderate the impact of outlet proximity and density on cessation outcomes. Conclusions: In the United States, density of tobacco outlets within 500m of the home residence appears to be negatively associated with smoking abstinence and pro-cessation attitudes only in poor areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-161
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Density
  • Marketing
  • Neighborhood
  • Point of sale
  • Poverty
  • Retail
  • Smoking
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco industry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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