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Tobacco outlet density and adolescents’ cigarette smoking: a meta-analysis


Objective We conducted meta-analyses of studies that investigated the associations between tobacco outlet density around homes and schools and adolescents’ past-month cigarette smoking.

Data sources Systematic literature searches of eight databases were carried out in February 2017. Searches were not limited by date, language, country or peer-reviewed status.

Study selection After screening for quality, studies that examined the relationship between tobacco outlet density and adolescents’ past-month smoking were selected for inclusion.

Data extraction Two investigators screened study abstracts and full texts and independently extracted data. Consensus was reached at each stage.

Data synthesis Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted on 11 studies that provided 13 effect sizes. Results showed that there was a significant association between tobacco outlet density around homes and adolescents’ past-month smoking behaviour, with an overall effect size of OR=1.08 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.13; P<0.001; I2=0%). For density around schools, the association was not statistically significant (OR=1.01, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.03; P=0.53; I2=39%).

Conclusions These findings suggest that exposure to tobacco outlets near home environments may be important for understanding adolescents’ past-month smoking. Restricting access to tobacco outlets and controlling the number of outlets in residential areas may be an effective preventive strategy to help reduce adolescents’ smoking.

  • environment
  • prevention
  • public policy

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