New population-based interventions to restrict the sales and distribution of tobacco products are increasingly common at the local level, despite little systematic research on these efforts. The retail environment ? comprised of the built environment (retailer quantity and location) and consumer environment (price, product availability, and promotion at the point of sale) ? is a critical emerging opportunity for tobacco control. The overall goal of the Advancing Science and Practice in the Retail Environment (ASPiRE) Program Project is to build a rigorous, scientific evidence base for effective tobacco control in the retail environment to reduce tobacco use, tobacco-related disparities, and the public health burdens of tobacco including tobacco- related cancers.
The specific aims of ASPiRE are to: 1) fill important gaps in the evidence base about the impact of tobacco retailer density and tobacco product availability and promotion on tobacco use and tobacco- related health outcomes (e.g., cancer); 2) evaluate the potential of local retail interventions to reduce socioeconomic disparities in exposure to the tobacco retail environment and improve cessation outcomes; 3) evaluate the underlying mechanisms and effectiveness of different options for intervening in the retail environment to increase the costs of tobacco use, increase cessation, and reduce consumption; and 4) enhance community capacity to implement evidence-based tobacco control practices in retail settings. Three innovative research projects are integral to these aims and will examine the degree to which tobacco retailer density contributes to tobacco use and tobacco-related disease over time using archival data (Project 1), evaluate the impact of local retail interventions on tobacco use outcomes using data from a longitudinal panel of tobacco users adult smokers (Project 2) and develop computational modeling to simulate community-level interventions to understand how changes in the built and consumer environments may lead to improved public health (Project 3). Each research project will produce unique and complementary scientific knowledge that will advance the retail tobacco control evidence base. The administrative core and two shared resource cores that specialize in 1) data management and biostatistics, and 2) dissemination and implementation will enhance the impact and reach of the scientific aims and increase synergy among the research and results from the three projects. ASPiRE takes a `team science' approach and leverages a successful, enduring collaboration that was established over 5 years of previous funding from NCI's State & Community Tobacco Control Initiative (U01-CA154281). If ASPiRE achieves its aims, it will be a national resource for the emerging area of tobacco control retail science and speed translation of retail science into evidence-based community practices that will reduce the public health burden of tobacco use.
Tobacco use causes nearly half of a million premature deaths each year from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary illnesses. This Program Project will identify the role that tobacco retail outlets play in promoting tobacco use and causing tobacco-related illnesses. National, city-based, and computation modeling studies will specifically focus on the health impacts of where retailers are located, the types of tobacco products retailers sell, and the prices retailers charge for those products.