Smoking is a global health risk. Retail outlets in residential neighbourhoods have gotten attention as potential targets for policies to reduce smoking.
Anna Pulakka, Ph.D., of the University of Turku, Finland, and coauthors used data from two studies of smokers and former smokers to examine changes in distance to a tobacco shop and home with smoking behaviour.
Study populations included 15,218 smokers and former smokers from one study and 5,511 from the second study.
Each 500-metres increase in distance (about one-third of a mile) from home to the nearest tobacco shop was associated with a 20 percent to 60 percent increase in the odds of quitting.
The increased distance was not associated with lower odds of relapse by former smokers.