142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Using GIS to map the geographical distribution of tobacco use policies; implications for local health department strategic planning

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Minal Patel, PhD, MPH , UCLA School of Public Health, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Los Angeles, CA
William McCarthy, PhD , Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Tobacco control policies reduce tobacco-related disease by making environments smokefree, which then encourage cessation and discourage initiation, thus reducing tobacco use prevalence.  Neighborhoods with fewer such policies may increase residents’ risk of tobacco-related disease. Despite overall increases in tobacco control policies, the geographic distribution of such policies has been uneven, with disparities increasing in communities lacking strong tobacco control regulation.

Methods:  All major tobacco use policies adopted in Los Angeles County (LAC) were compiled and geocoded at the city level (N=88) using geographic information services (GIS). Polices were spatially joined to census demographic data TIGER files. Hotspot analyses were conducted to identify areas with fewer policies. Further analyses will include joining current smoking prevalence from the 2011 LAC Health Survey using spatial regression methods in ArcGIS and STATA.

Results:  Types of policies included tobacco retail licensing (n=40), multi-unit housing (n=8), comprehensive outdoor areas (n=14), outdoor dining (n=7), parks (n=40), beaches (n=13), e-cigarette tobacco retail licensing (n=62), and e-cigarette bans in public places (n=19). Hotspots in LAC were identified at the city level.  Further analyses will address tobacco control policies and tobacco use rates throughout California, in relationship to census demographic data.

Conclusion: Ecological analyses utilizing GIS hotspot methodology and spatial regression can identify areas lacking tobacco control policies, thus aiding health department strategic planning. Preliminary results highlight hotspot areas in LAC that have relatively few tobacco control policies. These results can assist local health departments in strategic planning and community groups in targeting advocacy and cessation efforts.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify neighborhood level factors related to tobacco use policies at the county and state level. Describe GIS methodologies that can be used to better understand the geographical distribution of tobacco related policies. Explain how GIS methodology can be used to identify high risk neighborhoods for tobacco use and how local health department understanding of the geographical distribution of policies can help direct tobacco control activities to reduce health disparities.

Keyword(s): Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on tobacco research for 8+ years at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, and on health disparities research using GIS for over a decade. My dissertation research focuses on the built, policy and social environments related to tobacco control. I am involved in community advocacy and served as the Vice-chair for the LA County Tobacco Free Coalition, the largest coalition in the US for tobacco control advocates.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.