Why are adolescents that live in areas with high concentrations of tobacco shops more likely to smoke?
New findings suggest Scottish teenagers living in areas with a high density of shops selling tobacco have greater knowledge about cigarette brands.
Earlier work in Scotland found that adults and adolescents living in areas with high densities of shops selling tobacco were more likely to smoke. Public health researchers have suggested that restrictions on tobacco retail outlet density are a potential ‘new frontier’ in the long-running campaign to achieve a tobacco ‘endgame’. However, the reasons why exposure to greater numbers of tobacco outlets is associated with smoking are unclear and the types of restrictions on retail density that might best support this public health goal are not known.
A new study by CRESH has explored possible pathways linking tobacco outlet density to smoking among adolescents. Our work used responses from 22,049 13 and 15 year olds to the 2010 Scottish School Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey. Data from the Scottish Tobacco Retailers Register were used to calculate a measure of the density of tobacco outlets around the survey respondents’ homes.
We were interested to know whether adolescents in areas with more tobacco outlets had better knowledge of tobacco products, and so assessed how many cigarette brands they could name. We also looked at whether adolescents in high outlet density areas had more positive attitudes about smoking as it has been suggested that exposure to outlets and the tobacco marketing and purchasing found within them may ‘normalise’ smoking. We examined whether in areas where there are more tobacco outlets it may be easier for adolescents to make underage cigarette purchases. Finally, we considered tobacco price, assessing whether in areas with more tobacco shops, and more retail competition, cigarettes were cheaper. Continue reading TOBACCO OUTLET DENSITY AND PATHWAYS TO SMOKING AMONG TEENAGERS
By Niamh Shortt
Teenagers are more likely to smoke if they live in areas with the highest number of tobacco retailers. Our paper led by Niamh Shortt, published today in Tobacco Control, examined the relationship between tobacco outlet density and smoking habits of 13 and 15 year olds in Scotland. Continue reading ‘An environment where young people choose not to smoke’ is not one where tobacco products are sold on every street corner
By Jamie Pearce & Catherine Tisch
Smoking remains one of the most significant public health challenges in Scotland and is implicated in one in every five Scottish deaths. Each year, around 15,000 young Scottish people start smoking and many go on to become regular smokers. Since the introduction of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act in 2005, most forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorship in the UK have been banned. One of the few ways the tobacco industry can legitimately promote their products (often by elaborate and prominent means) is via point of sale (POS) tobacco displays. A recent systematic review showed that POS displays increased children’s susceptibility to smoking, experimentation and initiation into smoking. Continue reading Will the new point of sale legislation in Scotland influence young people’s knowledge and attitudes of tobacco products?
Title: Alcohol and tobacco environments in Scotland and their relationship with adolescent behaviour
Presenter: Dr Niamh Shortt
Date: Thursday 25th July 2013
Time: 11:00 am
Venue: Seminar Room, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP), 20 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DX (next door to the Mackenzie Medical Centre) Continue reading Alcohol and tobacco environments and adolescents’ health behaviours: future talk on CRESH research in Edinburgh
- Image courtesy of mack2happy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Tobacco and alcohol use pose significant global public health challenges and are major determinants of preventable morbidity and mortality. Preventing tobacco and alcohol misuse in adolescence before habits are formed is an important policy goal. Previous research into the relationship between tobacco outlet density and smoking prevalence has resulted in mixed findings. Whilst some have reported increased smoking prevalence with a higher density of retail outlets around the home and school others have reported no significant associations. For alcohol a positive association between drinking and alcohol outlet density has been reported around the home for adults, adolescents and around Universities for college students. Despite this there have been several calls for a policy response to address the tobacco retail environment, primarily by ‘restricting the number of retailers around child spaces’. We received seed funding from the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) to examine the density of tobacco and alcohol retail outlets in Scotland and their association with the prevalence of drinking and smoking behaviours in school aged children. Continue reading Tobacco and Alcohol Outlet Density and Adolescent Behaviours