Background: The tobacco industry has challenged new FDA rules restricting outdoor tobacco advertising near schools and playgrounds on First Amendment grounds, arguing that they would lead to a near complete ban on tobacco advertising in dense urban areas.
Purpose: To examine how the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) rules banning outdoor tobacco advertising near schools and playgrounds would affect tobacco retailers.
Methods: GIS spatial analyses of two different states (Missouri, New York), along with more detailed analyses of two urban areas within those states (St. Louis, New York City), were conducted in 2010. The percentage of tobacco retailers falling within 350-, 500-, and 1000-foot buffer zones was then calculated.
Results: 22% of retailers in Missouri and 51% in New York fall within 1000-foot buffers around schools. In urban settings, more retailers are affected, 29% in St. Louis and 79% in New York City. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that smaller buffers decrease the proportion of affected retailers. That is, 350-foot buffers affect only 6.7% of retailers in St. Louis and 29% in New York City.
Conclusions: The effects of new outdoor tobacco advertising restrictions vary by location and population density. In Missouri and New York, outdoor tobacco advertising would still be permitted in many locations if such advertising was prohibited in a 1000-foot buffer zone around schools and playgrounds. Much smaller buffer zones of 350 feet may result in almost no reduction of outdoor advertising in many parts of the country.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.