Spatial and Descriptive Analysis of Smoke and Vape Shop Locations Focusing on A Cancer Center Neighboring Catchment Area

Pap Appl Geogr. 2022;8(1):61-71. doi: 10.1080/23754931.2021.1947354. Epub 2021 Jul 23.


Tobacco products cause about 1 in 5 deaths premature deaths each year. With increased retailing of both tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products, cancer centers such as City of Hope are prioritizing tobacco and ENDS control. Therefore, we conducted formative geospatial analyses of dedicated smoke and vape shops linked to neighborhood demographic characteristics. The objective of the study was to analyze local data on smoke and vaping shop locations by age, socio-economic status, and racial/ethnic group. Our geospatial analysis used aggregate data from the U.S. Census, Google Maps, and Yelp. Geospatial maps were created using ArcGIS Pro with American Community Survey and U.S. Census 2010. The distributions of exclusive tobacco and vaping shop locations data were overlaid with data from the U.S. Census 2010 to generate maps of the relative geographic distributions of shops across varying area demographic characteristics. Results showed that a higher concentration of exclusive smoke and vaping shops were in areas with a higher concentration of ethnic minorities and lower income and lower status neighborhoods. These findings suggest that laws and licensing should be evaluated to regulate the placement of these shops to reduce and even prevent targeting of minorities and other vulnerable populations.

Keywords: San Gabriel Valley; geospatial analysis; health disparities; tobacco; vaping.