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Point of sale tobacco displays and smoking among 14–15 year olds in New Zealand: a cross-sectional study

Abstract

Objective: To examine the association between exposure to tobacco displays at the point of sale and teenage smoking and susceptibility to the uptake of smoking.

Design: The sample comprised a national cross-section of 14–15 year olds with two measures of exposure to tobacco displays at the point of sale and three outcome measures. The outcome measures were susceptibility to smoking initiation, experimenting with smoking or current smoking.

Results: Compared with visiting stores less often than weekly, a greater frequency of store visits was related to increased odds of being susceptible to smoking (daily visits, adjusted OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.2) and experimenting with smoking (daily visits, adjusted OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.4 to 3.1). The likelihood of being a current smoker increased with a greater frequency of store visits among students of medium and high socioeconomic status, but not among those of low socioeconomic status.

Conclusion: Although these findings are cross-sectional in nature, they are consistent with the notion that greater exposure to tobacco displays at the point of sale increases youth smoking, and suggest display bans are needed.

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