The Closest Tobacconist and other Health GIS News
Participants carried a smart phone to collect data about their real-time, in-the-moment experiences throughout their daily travels during the quitting process. The study examined data collected from them before quitting through one week after their "quit day." "When people were answering questions about their urge to smoke, we knew where they were," she said. "We used that information to better understand what the tobacco retailer outlet environment was like around them at the same moment they were describing their urge." The smartphone research suggested that it wasn't the number of locations to purchase cigarettes that increased the urge to smoke, but the proximity of the closest tobacco retail outlet to the participant's home. When people responded from home, those living closer to tobacco retail outlets reported greater urges to smoke than those living farther from outlets. "From a policy perspective, this suggests that if we are going to help people quit smoking, especially those in lower income areas, which tend to have a higher prevalence of tobacco stores, we need to think about disallowing the sale of tobacco products in close proximity to residential areas to make it more difficult to get tobacco when the urge to smoke strikes," Reitzel said. "If people can't access cigarettes within three to five minutes, the urge to smoke usually passes." Reitzel's research was funded by the
UT Health Science Center School of Public Health, the American Cancer Societyand MD Anderson Cancer Center, among others. "Many people try to quit smoking upwards of eight, nine, 10 times before they're successful," she said. "For the rest of their lives they have to be vigilant and fight to stay tobacco-free."
The study sounds parallel to challenges of those trying to lose weight.
Health Data Management is hosting a free webinar at 2 pm Eastern on Thursday, Oct. 17, that provides an
overview of the potential and practical applications for geographic information systems and spatial analytics from Bill Davenhall, a GIS innovator and author, and analytics experts from Duke University Health System.
- How where you live effects your health
- What data yields actionable insights into patient behavior
- How to combine different data elements into a cohesive population health narrative
- How analysts ensure reports can be understood by business and clinical owners
There's a PDF available of a report on the Vespucci Institute on health geography held earlier in 2013. It emphasizes the importance of research that connects population, health, and place from a holistic perspective and reviews trends related to health GIS and directions for future research.
- via @michael_d_gould
Image courtesy NIH.