Surveillance of tobacco retail density in Beirut, Lebanon using electronic tablet technology
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Department of Health Services Policy & Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA
Department of Health Promotion and Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, USA
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA
School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, USA
Submission date: 2014-01-22
Acceptance date: 2014-02-14
Publication date: 2014-02-17
Corresponding author
Ramzi G Salloum   

Department of Health Services Policy & Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene Street, Suite 351, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014;12(February):3
Lebanon has alarmingly high rates of tobacco use. The objective of this study is to examine the density of tobacco retail outlets and distance to schools as well as to survey retail pricing in a large district of Beirut, Lebanon.

We observed 100 tobacco retail outlets and collected data using iPad® technology. Store locations were recorded with Global Positioning System coordinates. The distances between all pairs of tobacco retail outlets and all schools were calculated. For 52% of tobacco outlets, the nearest distance to other tobacco retail outlets was < 50 meters and 17% were within a 100-meter radius of a school. We found a high proportion of tobacco retailers with close proximity to schools. The overall retailer density was 1.25 stores per 1,000 people.

These findings call for additional regulation including the establishment of strict density standards

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