Learn about our new Tobacco Retailer Mapping study in 30 large U.S. cities.

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The ASPiRE Center is an
NCI-funded collaborative of tobacco control researchers, practitioners, and legal experts investigating how tobacco retailer density and innovative retail tobacco interventions impact people and communities.

Tobacco use still causes
in the United States.

Reductions in tobacco use have
actually stalled as e-cigarette
use has rapidly grown
into an epidemic.

Most tobacco is purchased from neighborhood stores, where the tobacco industry spends nearly $1,000,000 every hour on advertising
and marketing.

Communities have become hubs of local innovation to reduce tobacco marketing and limit access to tobacco products.

This is especially important in neighborhoods with more people of color or low-income individuals, as these are the groups who continue to face higher rates of tobacco use, disease, and death.

More research is needed to evaluate these recent and novel efforts so others can learn what works to reduce tobacco use, especially among these
specific groups.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the ASPiRE Center is a group of researchers and practitioners from three of the nation’s top universities and
30 big cities working together
to do just that.


Fill gaps in the evidence about how different aspects of the
retail environment—like retailer density—affect tobacco use and disease.

Look at the potential of different retail policies to raise the cost of tobacco products, reduce tobacco use, and increase cessation, especially for populations with the highest rates of tobacco use.

Help communities implement scientifically sound, legally defensible,
and practically feasible retail policies in retail settings by translating and
sharing evidence about what works.

To do this, the ASPiRE Center is undertaking three major, interrelated research projects:

Retailer Density and Disease
Big City Tobacco Control
Tobacco Town

Researchers at UNC are mapping 275,000 tobacco retailers across the U.S. and exploring the relationship between their density and tobacco-related illness.

Led by Stanford, this project seeks to understand how the tobacco retail environment in a city may impede efforts to quit smoking. Researchers are surveying a panel of 2,400 adult smokers over 30 months and examining changes over time.

Researchers at Washington University are using agent-based modeling to study the impact of innovative retail policies in different types of communities, especially those with low-income and minority populations.

Latest News & Updates

CAB’s Ryan Coffman: Keep Flavor Restrictions to Protect Kids

The Philadelphia Inquirer logo

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently published a powerful op-ed by Ryan Coffman, tobacco policy and control program manager for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health – and a member of our Community Advisory Board. Ryan blasted the tobacco industry for suing to overturn legislation passed by the Philadelphia City Council that restricts the sale of candy-flavored [...]

October 2020 retail tobacco-related literature search results

Library shelves

At the beginning of each month, we conduct a search of the PubMed database for new peer-reviewed articles on the retail tobacco environment and policy.  Many of these articles are available for FREE. The October 2020 PubMed search results are now available. Check them out! And check back after the first Tuesday of each month [...]

ASPiRE, Tobacco-Free Kids team up to spread the word about retail density

front door of tobacco retailer

ASPiRE recently joined the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to conduct a nationwide media campaign to publicize the center’s research on tobacco retail density in 30 U.S. cities. The two-week campaign reached over 3 million broadcast viewers, radio listeners and on-line readers in more than two dozen of the nation’s largest media markets. It also resulted [...]

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Learn more about our Tobacco Retailer Mapping study in 30 large U.S. Cities.

Learn more about the ASPiRE Center or explore our Resources.