London | Smokers who have to walk 500 metres or longer from their home to the nearest tobacco shop are more likely to kick the butt, a new Finnish study suggests.
Smoking is a global health risk. Retail outlets in residential neighbourhoods have gotten attention as potential targets for policies to reduce smoking, researchers said.
Anna Pulakka from University of Turku in Finland and colleagues used data from two studies of smokers and former smokers to examine changes in distance to a tobacco shop and home with smoking behaviour.
Study populations included 15,218 smokers and former smokers from one study and 5,511 from the second study.
Each 500-metre increase in distance from home to the nearest tobacco shop was associated with a 20 per cent to 60 per cent increase in the odds of quitting, researchers said.
Increased distance was not associated with lower odds of relapse by former smokers, they said.
“We found robust evidence suggesting that among Finnish adults who smoked, increase in the distance from home to a tobacco outlet increased the odds of quitting smoking,” researchers said.
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