|1R01CA269848-01A1 Interpret this number
|Columbia University Health Sciences
|Assessing the Impact, Equity, and Mechanisms of a Novel Policy Intervention to Reduce Tobacco Retailer Density in Communities
Tobacco retailer density is disproportionately high in low-income communities and certain racial/ethnic
enclaves, contributing to severe socioeconomic and social disparities in smoking and its resultant health
harms. Local, environmental-level interventions that aim to reduce the number of tobacco retailers are a new
policy frontier in tobacco control that may be particularly effective in promoting health equity, but the impact of
these initiatives is critically understudied in real-world settings. Three major US cities – San Francisco,
Philadelphia, and New York City (NYC) – recently enacted novel measures that establish caps on the number
of tobacco retail licenses permitted in city districts. Density reduction under this intervention occurs not through
license revocation, but gradually through retailer attrition. The effects of these “capping” policies on retailer
density reduction and the resultant tobacco product marketplace largely depend on temporal, spatial, and
store-level patterns in license forfeiture, which are not well-understood. Moreover, to comprehensively assess
public health impact, it is critical to conduct stakeholder analyses after implementation, describe the policy’s
impact on and mechanisms of behavior change, and identify potential unintended effects. The proposed
mixed-methods, comparative case study will use archival tobacco retail licensing data, annual audits of
tobacco retailers, semi-structured interviews with key community stakeholders, and geocoded health survey
data to evaluate this intervention and examine differential policy impact across neighborhoods and population
subgroups. Specifically, the project will: 1) Measure tobacco retailer density reduction and its association with
community demographics across study sites; 2) Longitudinally characterize changes in the tobacco
marketplace during policy implementation; 3) Qualitatively assess key stakeholder perceptions of the policy, its
mechanisms of action, and its behavioral impact; and 4) Identify associations between tobacco retailer density
reduction and smoking trends in NYC neighborhoods using a unique, annual population survey with geocoded
respondent data. Given the lack of empirical support for this nascent, environmental-level tobacco control
intervention, study results will provide timely, essential, and experiential evidence to inform equitable policy
formation and improve implementation in order to maximize impact and reduce persistent health disparities.
Impact and Equity of New York City's Tobacco Retail Reduction Initiative.
, Morrison C.N.
, Mehranbod C.A.
, Spillane T.E.
, Easter A.G.
, Hernández D.
, Humphreys D.K.
, Mauro C.M.
, Kong A.Y.
, Branas C.C.
American journal of preventive medicine, 2024 Feb; 66(2), p. 235-242.