The effect of tobacco outlet density and proximity on smoking cessation

Am J Public Health. 2011 Feb;101(2):315-20. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.191676. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Objectives: We examined the influence of tobacco outlet density and residential proximity to tobacco outlets on continuous smoking abstinence 6 months after a quit attempt.

Methods: We used continuation ratio logit models to examine the relationships of tobacco outlet density and tobacco outlet proximity with biochemically verified continuous abstinence across weeks 1, 2, 4, and 26 after quitting among 414 adult smokers from Houston, Texas (33% non-Latino White, 34% non-Latino Black, and 33% Latino). Analyses controlled for age, race/ethnicity, partner status, education, gender, employment status, prequit smoking rate, and the number of years smoked.

Results: Residential proximity to tobacco outlets, but not tobacco outlet density, provided unique information in the prediction of long-term, continuous abstinence from smoking during a specific quit attempt. Participants residing less than 250 meters (P = .01) or less than 500 meters (P = .04) from the closest tobacco outlet were less likely to be abstinent than were those living 250 meters or farther or 500 meters or farther, respectively, from outlets.

Conclusions: Because residential proximity to tobacco outlets influences smoking cessation, zoning restrictions to limit tobacco sales in residential areas may complement existing efforts to reduce tobacco use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotiana*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors