The density of tobacco retailers and its association with attitudes toward smoking, exposure to point-of-sale tobacco advertising, cigarette purchasing, and smoking among New York youth

Prev Med. 2012 Nov;55(5):468-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 28.


Objective: Estimate the association between the density of licensed tobacco retailers (LTRs) and smoking-related attitudes and behaviors among middle and high school students in New York.

Methods: The 2000-2008 New York Youth Tobacco Surveys were pooled (N=70,427) and linked with county-level density of LTRs and retailer compliance with laws restricting youth access to cigarettes. Logistic regressions tested for associations with attitudes toward smoking exposure to point-of-sale tobacco advertising, cigarette purchasing, and smoking prevalence.

Results: LTR density is associated with self-reported exposure to point-of-sale advertising in New York City (NYC) among all youth (OR=1.15; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.30) and nonsmokers (OR=1.14; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.30); youth believing that smoking makes them look cool, overall (OR=1.75; 95% CI: 1.22, 2.52) and among nonsmokers (OR=1.68; 95% CI: 1.11, 2.55); and a counter-intuitive negative relationship with frequent smoking in NYC (OR=0.50; 95% CI: 0.29, 0.84). Retailer compliance was negatively associated with youth reporting that a retail store is their usual source for cigarettes (OR=0.93; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.98).

Conclusions: Restricting tobacco licenses and enforcing youth access laws are reasonable policy approaches for influencing youth smoking outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Commerce* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Public Policy*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Prevention