Socioeconomic inequalities in children’s exposure to tobacco retailing based on individual-level GPS data in Scotland

Caryl, F. , Shortt, N. K., Pearce, J., Reid, G. and Mitchell, R. (2020) Socioeconomic inequalities in children’s exposure to tobacco retailing based on individual-level GPS data in Scotland. Tobacco Control, 29(4), pp. 367-373. (doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2018-054891) (PMID:31278083) (PMCID:PMC7116585)

187030.pdf - Accepted Version



Background: Identifying factors shaping knowledge of and attitudes towards tobacco products in preadolescence is a key component supporting tobacco control policies aimed at preventing smoking initiation. This study quantified exposure to tobacco retailing environments within the individual-level activity spaces of children across a socioeconomic gradient. Methods: One week of global positioning system (GPS) tracking data were collected at 10 s intervals from a nationally representative sample of 10–11-year olds (n=692). Proximity of GPS locations (n=~16 M) to the nearest tobacco retailer (n=9030) was measured and exposure defined when a child came within 10 m of a retailer. Duration, frequency, timing and source of exposure were compared across income deprivation quintiles, along with retail density within children’s home neighbourhoods. Results: On average, children were exposed to tobacco retailing for 22.7 min (95% CI 16.8 to 28.6) per week in 42.7 (35.2–50.1) independent encounters. However, children from the most deprived areas accumulated six times the duration and seven times the frequency of exposure as children from the least deprived areas. Home neighbourhood retail densities were 2.6 times higher in deprived areas, yet the average number of businesses encountered did not differ. Most exposure came from convenience stores (35%) and newsagents (15%), with temporal peaks before and after school hours. Conclusions: By accounting for individual mobility, we showed that children in socially disadvantaged areas accumulate higher levels of exposure to tobacco retailing than expected from disparities in home neighbourhood densities. Reducing tobacco outlet availability, particularly in areas frequently used by children, might be crucial to policies aimed at creating ‘tobacco-free’ generations.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Rich and Caryl, Dr Fiona
Authors: Caryl, F., Shortt, N. K., Pearce, J., Reid, G., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Tobacco Control
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1468-3318
Published Online:05 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Tobacco Control 29(4): 367-373
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727621Neighbourhoods and CommunitiesAnne EllawayMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/10HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
727621Neighbourhoods and CommunitiesAnne EllawayOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU10HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit