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Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Nov 12. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty242. [Epub ahead of print]

Is smoking cessation in young adults associated with tobacco retailer availability in their activity space?

Author information

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada.
Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Canada.
Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Ecole de santé publique de l'Université de Montréal, Canada.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), UMR Géographie-Cités, France.
Institut de recherche en santé publique de l'Université de Montréal (IRSPUM), Canada.



The presence of tobacco retailers in residential neighbourhoods has been inversely associated with residents' likelihood of quitting smoking. Few studies have yet explored whether this association holds when accounting for tobacco retailers found in the multiple environments where people conduct their daily activities, i.e., their activity space.


We analyzed cross-sectional data from 921 young adults (18-25 years-old) participating in the Interdisciplinary Study of Inequalities in Smoking (Montreal, Canada). Respondents self-reported socio-demographic, smoking, and activity location data. Log-binomial regression was used to estimate prevalence ratios for the association between smoking cessation and (1) the number of tobacco retailers (counts), and (2) the distance to the closest retailer (proximity) in participants' residential neighbourhood and activity space.


Smoking cessation was positively associated with low and intermediate tertile levels of tobacco retailer counts in both the residential neighbourhood and activity space, and with the furthest distance level in the activity space (PR and 95% CI of 1.21 (1.02, 1.43)).


Individuals encounter resources in the course of their regular daily activities which may hamper smoking cessation. This study highlights the relevance of considering the tobacco retail environment of both individuals' residential neighbourhood and activity space to understand its association with smoking cessation.


This article contributes to the literature on the association between the tobacco retail environment and smoking cessation in young adults by moving beyond the residential neighbourhood to also assess individuals' access to tobacco retailers in the multiple areas where they regularly spend time, i.e., their activity space. Findings suggest that lower numbers of tobacco retailers in both the residential neighbourhood and activity space, and further distance to tobacco retailers in the activity space are associated with increased smoking cessation.


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