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→
In our latest paper published in Social Science and Medicine we critique the way ‘impact’ is measured within the UK’s Research Excellence Framework* (REF) and in doing so we propose an alternative measurement, one based on enlightenment and process rather than outcomes.
New research published this week in BMC Public Health by the CRESH team, and colleagues in Global Public Health, has found that Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods have the highest availability of both tobacco and alcohol outlets. The average density of tobacco outlets rises from 50 per 10,000 population in the least income deprived areas to 100 per 10,000 in the most deprived areas. For alcohol outlets licensed to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises the figures were 25 per 10,000 in the least income deprived areas rising to 53 per 10,000 in the most income deprived areas.
Today we are launching an interactive webmap that allows users to map tobacco and alcohol outlet density, and related health outcomes, for neighbourhoods (‘datazones‘) across Scotland. The underlying data we have collected and assembled can also be freely downloaded for use. Our research from Scotland shows that outlet density matters for health:
areas with the highest alcohol outlet density have double the death rate of those with the lowest densities (see our blog post, report and infographic)
adolescents living in areas with the highest tobacco outlet density are almost 50% more likely to smoke than those with the lowest (see our blog post, paper and infographic).
ALCOHOL OUTLET DATA UPDATED 25 JUNE 2015: Previous to this date the alcohol outlet density data had used an alternate measure of density than outlets per km2, resulting in values that were typically 30-40% lower than the actual value. Whilst the figures have changed the general picture has not: an area of high density remains an area of high density. The rest of the data are unaffected.