Neighbourhood greenspace and smoking prevalence: Results from a nationally representative survey in England
Martin, L; White, MP; Pahl, S; et al.May, J; Wheeler, BW
Date: 21 October 2020
Social Science & Medicine
Objective. The current study investigated whether people are less likely to be smokers when they live in greener neighbourhoods, and whether such an association is attributable to lower rates of ever-smoking and/or higher rates of smoking cessation. Method. Using a representative sample of the adult population of England (N = 8,059), ...
Objective. The current study investigated whether people are less likely to be smokers when they live in greener neighbourhoods, and whether such an association is attributable to lower rates of ever-smoking and/or higher rates of smoking cessation. Method. Using a representative sample of the adult population of England (N = 8,059), we investigated the relationships between neighbourhood greenspace and three inter-related smoking outcomes (current smoking, ever-smoking and smoking cessation). Results. After controlling for a range of individual and area-level covariates, including socioeconomic status, income and education, living in the highest greenspace quartile was associated with a 20% lower prevalence of current smoking, compared to living in the lowest greenspace quartile (PR = 0.80, CI = 0.67, 0.96, p <.017). Neighbourhood greenspace was not significantly associated with ever-smoking. However, amongst ever-smokers, residing in the two highest quartiles of neighbourhood greenspace quartiles (vs. 1st quartile) was associated with a 10% and 12% higher prevalence of smoking cessation (PR = 1.10, CI = 1.02, 1.18, p =.012; PR = 1.12, CI = 1.02, 1.22, p =.016, respectively). This suggests that the association between greenspace and current smoking is due to a higher likelihood of smoking cessation, rather than lower rates of ever- smoking. The associations between greenspace, current smoking and smoking cessation were similar in magnitude to those of having high (vs. low) household income and were largely unmoderated by socioeconomic measures. Implications. Our findings advocate the need to protect and invest in local greenspaces, to maximise the public health benefits they may afford. Improving access to greenspace may constitute an overlooked public health strategy for reducing smoking prevalence.
Institute of Health Research
College of Medicine and Health
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