Is daily exposure to tobacco outlets related to youth cigarette smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked that day?
A new study led by researchers at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation explores these questions using real time data from 100 youth participants from 16-20 years old to assess the effect of exposure to tobacco outlets on same-day smoking and the number of cigarettes consumed. Across two weeks, participants carried GPS-enabled smartphones that recorded their location at one-minute intervals and invited youth to respond to brief daily surveys.
The measurements focused on any cigarette smoking by youth on a given day, the number of cigarettes smoked, the number of tobacco outlets within 100m of activity space, the number of minutes participants spent within 100m of outlets each day, and demographic characteristics.
The results indicate that day-to-day exposure to tobacco outlets within youth activity space — or the broader environments where youths spend their time — is not related to whether a youth smokes a cigarette on a given day, but it is associated with the number of cigarettes smoked on that day.
Says lead author, Dr. Sharon Lipperman-Kreda: “The results of this study go beyond previous research and highlight the importance of policies to regulate youth exposure to tobacco outlets beyond residential or school neighborhoods. Regulating exposure to outlets limits access and availability of cigarettes through retail outlets for the youth population and, in particular, for youth in socially disadvantaged areas who encounter high exposure to tobacco outlets in their daily activity spaces.”
Source: Lipperman‐Kreda, Sharon, Laura J. Finan, Sarah D. Kowitt, Joel W. Grube, Melissa Abadi, Anna Balassone, and Emily Kaner. “Youth Daily Exposure to Tobacco Outlets and Cigarette Smoking Behaviors: Does Exposure within Activity Space Matter?.” Addiction (2020).