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Can J Public Health. 2007 Jul-Aug;98(4):265-70.

Tobacco Point-of-Purchase marketing in school neighbourhoods and school smoking prevalence: a descriptive study.

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  • 1Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3.



Point of Purchase (PoP) promotional and advertising activities are a sophisticated tobacco marketing strategy. This study describes tobacco PoP activities in school neighbourhoods and compares PoP activities in retail stores between schools with high and low smoking prevalence.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in 81 randomly selected schools across five provinces. Students in grades 10-11 completed a questionnaire on smoking. Observations were made in all retail stores located within a one-kilometre radius around the school. ANOVA tests were used to detect differences on PoP variables between high (> 20.6%) and low (< or = 20.6%) smoking prevalence schools, defined as percentage of students reporting at least a few puffs on > 2 days in the last 30 days.


Approximately half of retail stores in each school neighbourhood exhibited tobacco PoP activities. Average school smoking prevalence was 20.99%. There were significant main effects on PoP variables between schools with high and low smoking prevalence, Wilk's lambda = 0.81, F (6,74) = 2.89, p < 0.01, eta2 = 0.19. Stores near schools with high smoking prevalence had significantly lower prices per cigarette (F (1,79) = 15.34, p < 0.01, eta2 = 0.16), more in-store promotions (F (1,79) = 6.73, p < 0.01, eta2 = 0.08), and fewer government-sponsored health warnings (F (1,79) = 6.26, p < 0.01, eta2 = 0.07) compared to schools with low smoking prevalence.


Higher levels of PoP activities in stores located in the school neighbourhood are related to school smoking prevalence. Schools with low smoking prevalence had more stores that posted government health warning signs and higher cigarette prices. Legislation regulating PoP activities and health warnings in school neighbourhoods should be considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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