Characterizing the spatial relationship between smoking status and tobacco retail exposure: Implications for policy development and evaluation

Brooks MM, Siegel SD, Curriero FC

Health Place 2021 03;68():102530

PMID: 33609995


Tobacco retail density and smoking prevalence remain elevated in marginalized communities, underscoring the need for strategies to address these place-based disparities. The spatial variation of smokers and tobacco retailers is often measured by aggregating them to area-level units (e.g., census tracts), but spatial statistical methods that use point-level data, such as spatial intensity and K-functions, can better describe their geographic patterns. We applied these methods to a case study in New Castle County, DE to characterize the cross-sectional spatial relationship between tobacco retailers and smokers, finding that current smokers experience greater tobacco retail exposure and clustering relative to former smokers. We discuss how analysis at different geographic scales can provide complementary insights for tobacco control policy.

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