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Public Health Reports: The Influence of Tobacco Retailer Density and Poverty on Tobacco Use in a Densely Populated Urban Environment

In an article in Public Health Reports, Dr. Shannon M. Farley of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Andrew R. Maroko of Lehman College, Dr. Shakira F. Suglia of Emory University, and Dr. Lorna E. Thorpe of New York University explored the effect of neighborhood poverty, tobacco retailer density, and housing type on smoking in a large urban environment. Information was gathered from city- and nationwide health surveys and tobacco retailer and multi unit and public housing datasets, all spanning from 2009 to 2013.

The effects of neighborhood poverty and tobacco retailer density on smoking prevalence was assessed, as well as the interactions between poverty and tobacco retailer density and each housing type on smoking. Results showed that neighborhood poverty positively and significantly altered the association between prevalence of neighborhood smoking and tobacco retailer density when controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, population density, and types of housing. Neighborhood poverty was also positively and significantly associated with the prevalence of individual smoking when adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, population density, and type of housing. The authors concluded that more research is necessary to determine all environmental factors linked to smoking prevalence in a densely populated urban environment.

Full article


Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries in the areas of public health practice and methodology, original research, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health schools and teaching. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public.

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