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Retail tobacco outlet density and youth cigarette smoking: A propensity-modeling approach


  • Novak, S.P.
  • Reardon, S.F.
  • Raudenbush, S.W.
  • Buka, S.L.


Objectives. We examined whether retail tobacco outlet density was related to youth cigarette smoking after control for a diverse range of neighborhood characteristics. Methods. Data were gathered from 2116 respondents (aged 11 to 23 years) residing in 178 census tracts in Chicago, III. Propensity score stratification methods for continuous exposures were used to adjust for potentially confounding neighborhood characteristics, thus strengthening causal inferences. Results. Retail tobacco outlets were disproportionately located in neighborhoods characterized by social and economic disadvantage. In a model that excluded neighborhood confounders, a marginally significant effect was found. Youths in areas at the highest 75th percentile in retail tobacco outlet density were 13% more likely (odds ratio [OR] = 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.99, 1.28) to have smoked in the past month compared with those living at the lowest 25th percentile. However, the relation became stronger and significant (OR = 0.21; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.41) after introduction of tract level confounders and was statistically significant in the propensity score-adjusted model (OR = 1.20; 95% CI = 1.001, 1.44). Results did not differ significantly between minors and those legally permitted to smoke. Conclusions. Reductions in retail tobacco outlet density may reduce rates of youth smoking.

Suggested Citation

  • Novak, S.P. & Reardon, S.F. & Raudenbush, S.W. & Buka, S.L., 2006. "Retail tobacco outlet density and youth cigarette smoking: A propensity-modeling approach," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 96(4), pages 670-676.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.061622_8
    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.061622

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Feng Liu, 2013. "Who Pays Cigarette Taxes? The Impact of Consumer Price Search," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 516-529, May.
    2. Tunstall, Helena & Shortt, Niamh K. & Niedzwiedz, Claire L. & Richardson, Elizabeth A. & Mitchell, Richard J. & Pearce, Jamie R., 2018. "Tobacco outlet density and tobacco knowledge, beliefs, purchasing behaviours and price among adolescents in Scotland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 206(C), pages 1-13.
    3. Davis, Brennan & Grier, Sonya, 2015. "A tale of two urbanicities: Adolescent alcohol and cigarette consumption in high and low-poverty urban neighborhoods," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2109-2116.
    4. Patricia A McDaniel & Ruth E Malone, 2014. "“People over Profits”: Retailers Who Voluntarily Ended Tobacco Sales," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(1), pages 1-10, January.
    5. Kosuke Imai & Gary King & Elizabeth A. Stuart, 2008. "Misunderstandings between experimentalists and observationalists about causal inference," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 171(2), pages 481-502, April.
    6. Paul, Christine L. & Mee, Kathleen J. & Judd, Tanya M. & Walsh, Raoul A. & Tang, Anita & Penman, Andrew & Girgis, Afaf, 2010. "Anywhere, anytime: Retail access to tobacco in New South Wales and its potential impact on consumption and quitting," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 799-806, August.
    7. Gavin Pereira & Lisa Wood & Sarah Foster & Fatima Haggar, 2013. "Access to Alcohol Outlets, Alcohol Consumption and Mental Health," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(1), pages 1-6, January.

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