Neighbourhood exposure to point-of-sale price promotions for cigarettes is associated with financial stress among smokers: results from a population-based study

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To examine the association between neighbourhood exposure to point-of-sale (POS) cigarette price promotions and financial stress among smokers in a Midwestern metropolitan area in the USA.


Survey data from 888 smokers provided information on sociodemographic and smoking related variables. Financial stress was measured with the question: ‘In the last six months, because of lack of money, was there a time when you were unable to buy food or pay any important bills on time, such as electricity, telephone, credit card, rent or your mortgage? (Yes/No).’ Using audit data from 504 tobacco retailers, we estimated a score of POS price promotions for each respondent by summing the different types of promotion in each store in their neighbourhood, as defined by a 1-km roadway buffer.


Adjusted results provided strong support for an association between higher scores of neighbourhood POS cigarette price promotions and a higher probability of financial stress (p=0.007).


Exposure to POS cigarette price promotions is associated with financial stress. This finding, coupled with previous reports that smokers with financial stress are less likely to attempt to quit or succeed in quitting smoking, suggests that POS cigarette price promotions may act as an impediment to smoking cessation.

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