UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding the impact of tobacco industry promotional activities on youth smoking behaviour Hsu, Helen Chih-Han


Background: Tobacco marketing has been established as the main motivator for tobacco use among youth. A proliferation of tobacco promotional activities in retail stores has been observed yet little is known about its impact on adolescent smoking behaviours. The purpose of this study is to use secondary data to describe the prevalence of retail tobacco point-of-purchase (PoP) activities, examine its associations with adolescent smoking behaviours, and determine what ecological factors moderate the relationship between PoP activities and student smoking behaviours in British Columbia. Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed grade 10-11 students from 22 randomly-selected schools in BC on student smoking behaviour and conducted observations in 57 retail stores on tobacco PoP activities located within a 1 km radius of these schools. Descriptive analysis was conducted on retail tobacco PoP variables. Individual data on smoking behaviour and school level data on retailers were linked to analyse the association between retail tobacco PoP activities and student smoking behaviour using logistic regression. Moderating effects of contextual factors were also examined. GIS maps were generated to illustrate study findings. Result: A moderate to strong presence of tobacco PoP activities was observed in all tobacco retail stores located in BC school neighbourhoods. Nearly all stores displayed cigarette products in a visible manner (98.25%) and posted tobacco control signage (94.74%). In this model, proportion of stores in the school neighbourhood with presence of tobacco advertising increased the odds of a student being a smoker (OR = 1.28-3.27). Proportion of stores in the school neighbourhood with presence of tobacco control signage decreased the odds of a student being a smoker (OR = 0.11-0.66). The odds of a student being a smoker increased if they resided on the island compared to living in the lower mainland (OR = 1.11-1.75). Discussion: Convenience stores exhibited more tobacco PoP activities than other store types. Retailers in the school neighbourhood that had tobacco advertisements and tobacco control signage exhibited both detrimental and protective effects on student smoking. This provides supportive evidence to ban tobacco advertising in retail stores and increase efforts for creating an anti-tobacco environment in neighbourhood retail stores. Maps generated served descriptive and hypothesis generating purposes.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Usage Statistics