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Longitudinal Associations of Local Cigarette Prices and Smoking Bans with Smoking Behavior in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

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Abstract

Background:

Few studies have examined associations of geographically proximal cigarette prices with within-person changes in smoking outcomes, or assessed interactions between cigarette prices and smoking bans.

Methods:

We linked neighborhood cigarette prices (inflation-adjusted) at chain supermarkets and drug stores and bar/restaurant smoking ban policies to cohort participants (632 smokers from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, 2001-2012, baseline mean aged 58) using geocoded retailer and participant addresses. We used fixed-effects models to investigate associations of within-person changes in price and ban exposures with within-person changes in five smoking outcomes: current smoking, heavy (≥10 cigarettes) smoking, cessation, relapse, and intensity (average number of cigarettes smoked per day, natural log-transformed). We assessed intensity associations among all smokers, and heavy (≥10 cigarettes per day) and light (<10) baseline smokers. Finally, we tested interactions between cigarette price and bans.

Results:

$1 increase in price was associated with a 3% reduction in risk of current smoking (aRR: 0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93, 1.0), a 7% reduction in risk of heavy smoking (aRR: 0.93, CI: 0.87, 0.99), a 20% increase in risk of smoking cessation (aRR 1.2, CI: 0.99, 1.4), and a 35% reduction in the average number of cigarettes smoked per day by heavy baseline smokers (ratio of geometric means: 0.65, CI: 0.45%, 0.93%). We found no association between smoking bans and outcomes, and no evidence that price effects were modified by the presence of bans.

Conclusions:

Results underscore the importance of local prices, but not hospitality smoking bans, in influencing older adults’ smoking behaviors.

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