Draining the tobacco swamps: Shaping the built environment to reduce tobacco retailer proximity to residents in 30 big US cities

Health Place. 2022 May;75:102815. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102815. Epub 2022 May 20.


Combining geospatial data on residential and tobacco retailer density in 30 big US cities, we find that a large majority of urban residents live in tobacco swamps - neighborhoods where there is a glut of tobacco retailers. In this study, we simulate the effects of tobacco retail reduction policies and compare probable changes in resident-to-retailer proximity and retailer density for each city. While measures of proximity and density at baseline are highly correlated, the results differ both between effects on proximity and density and across the 30 cities. Context, particularly baseline proximity of residents to retailers, is important to consider when designing policies to reduce retailer concentration.

Keywords: Retail tobacco policy; Tobacco retailer density; Tobacco retailer proximity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Built Environment
  • Cities
  • Commerce
  • Humans
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Tobacco*
  • Wetlands