Scientific Journal Articles
Showing 1-25 of 174 Results
van Mourik, et al. 2019. Quasi-experimental study examining the impact of introducing pictorial tobacco health warning labels: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Surveys in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States [access full article]
Background: Our study evaluated the short-term impact of introducing European Union’s tobacco pictorial health warnings (PHWs).
Methods: Longitudinal data were collected at two time-points from adult smokers, participating in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) surveys, conducted in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the Netherlands, textual health warnings (THWs) were replaced by PHWs between both time-points. Health warning policies did not change in the other countries. Data from continuing smokers were used (N = 3,487) and analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations.
Results: Between both time-points, only Dutch smokers showed increases in noticing health warnings (β = 0.712, p < 0.001), self-reports of health warnings leading to a cognitive response such as thinking about smoking health-risks (SHRs) (OR = 1.834, p < 0.001), knowledge about SHRs (β = 0.369, p < 0.001), and avoiding health warnings (OR = 9.869, p < 0.001). However, Dutch smokers showed no changes in attitude towards smoking (β = 0.035, p = 0.518), intention to quit smoking (OR = 0.791, p = 0.157), self-efficacy to quit smoking (β=-0.072, p = 0.286), or reporting that health warnings helped them to resist having a cigarette (OR = 1.091, p = 0.714).
Conclusions: Results suggest that introducing the European PHWs was effective in provoking changes closely related to health warnings, but there was no direct impact on variables more closely related to smoking cessation.[download PDF]
Li, et al. 2019. The association between smokers' self-reported health problems and quitting: Findings from ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 Survey [access full article]
Introduction: This study aimed to systematically examine whether having health conditions or concerns related to smoking are associated with quitting activities among smokers across four western countries.
Methods: Data came from the 2016 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey conducted in Australia, Canada, England and US. We asked smokers and recent quitters (n=11838) whether they had a medical diagnosis for heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, depression, anxiety, alcohol problems, diabetes, severe obesity and chronic pain (nine conditions), and whether they believed smoking had harmed/would harm their health, along with questions on quitting activities.
Results: General concerns about smoking harming health and all specific health conditions, except for alcohol problems, were positively associated with quit attempts, but the relationships between health conditions and other quitting measures (being abstinent, planning to quit, use of quitting medications) were less consistent. Positive associations between conditions and use of quitting medications were only significant for depression, anxiety and chronic pain (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.4 to 1.5). There was a general tendency to report lower self-efficacy for quitting among those with the health conditions.
Conclusions: While those with smoking related conditions are somewhat more aware of the links to their smoking, and are largely taking more action, the extent of this is lower than one might reasonably expect. Enhanced awareness campaigns are needed and health professionals need to do more to use health conditions to motivate quit attempts and to ensure they are made with the most effective forms of help.[download PDF]
Cummings , et al. 2019. Predicting the future of smoking in a rapidly evolving nicotine market-place [access full article]
No abstract is available.[download PDF]
Aleyan, et al. 2019. Differences in norms towards the use of nicotine vaping products among adult smokers, former smokers and nicotine vaping product users: cross‐sectional findings from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Aims: To examine whether norms towards nicotine vaping product (NVP) use varied between Australia, Canada, England and the United States and by socio‐demographics, smoking and NVP status.
Design: Cross‐sectional data from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey.
Setting: Four countries with distinct regulatory policies relating to the sale and advertising of NVPs: Australia (most restrictive), Canada (restrictive), England and the United States (least restrictive).
Participants: A total of 10900 adult (age 18+) current smokers, former smokers, or at least weekly NVP users. Respondents were from Australia (n = 1366), Canada (n = 3309), England (n = 3835) and the United States (n = 2390).
Measurements: Questions permitted the categorization of respondents as current smokers, former smokers, NVP users and socio‐demographic categories (sex, age, country, ethnicity, income and education). Further questions were asked regarding the frequency of exposure to NVPs in public, whether they had a partner or close friends who vaped and whether they believed society or those considered important to them approved of NVPs.
Findings: Adjusting for relevant covariates, compared with Australian respondents, those in England, Canada and the United States were more likely to report frequent exposure to NVPs in public (83.1%, 57.3% and 48.3%, respectively, compared to 19.8% in Australia; P < 0.0001), having a partner who vaped (13.8%, 7.1% and 7.7%, respectively, compared to 2.1% in Australia; P < 0.0001) and having close friend(s) who vaped (31.7%, 25.3%, 20.9%, respectively, compared to 10.0% in Australia; P < 0.0001). Compared with Australian respondents, respondents from England were more likely to report that society (27.6% compared to 12.3% in Australia; P < 0.0001) and people important to them approved of NVP use (28.9% compared to 14.3% in Australia; P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Norms towards nicotine vaping product (NVP) use appear to vary among countries with different regulatory contexts regarding sales and advertising.[download PDF]
McNeill, et al. 2019. Indicators of cigarette smoking dependence and relapse in former smokers who vape compared with those who do not: Findings from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Background and Aims: It has been proposed that many smokers switch to vaping because their nicotine addiction makes this their only viable route out of smoking. We compared indicators of prior and current cigarette smoking dependence and of relapse in former smokers who were daily users of nicotine vaping products (‘vapers’) or who were not vaping at the time of survey (‘non‐vapers’).
Design: Cross‐sectional survey‐based comparison between vaping and non‐vaping former smokers, including a weighted logistic regression of vaping status onto predictor variables, adjusting for covariates specified below.
Setting: United States, Canada, Australia and England.
Participants: A total of 1070 people aged 18+ years from the 2016 International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 Survey who reported having ever been daily smokers but who stopped less than 2 years ago and who were currently vapers or non‐vapers.
Measurements: Dependent variable was current vaping status. Predictor variables were self‐reported: (1) smoking within 5 minutes of waking and usual daily cigarette consumption, both assessed retrospectively; (2) current perceived addiction to smoking, urges to smoke and confidence in staying quit. Covariates: country, sample sources, sex, age group, ethnicity, income, education, current nicotine replacement therapy use and time since quitting.
Findings: Vapers were more likely than non‐vapers to report: (1) having smoked within 5 minutes of waking [34.3 versus 15.9%, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 3.74, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.99, 7.03), χ2 = 16.92, P < 0.001]; having smoked > 10 cigarettes/day (74.4 versus 47.2%, aOR = 4.39, 95% CI = 2.22, 8.68), χ2 = 18.18, P < 0.001); (2) perceiving themselves to be still very addicted to smoking (41.3 versus 26.2%, aOR = 2.89, 95% CI = 1.58, 5.30, χ2 = 11.87, P < 0.001) and feeling extremely confident about staying quit (62.1 versus 36.6%, aOR = 3.22, 95% CI = 1.86, 5.59, χ2 = 17.36, P < 0.001). Vapers were not more likely to report any urges to smoke than non‐vapers (27.7 versus 38.8%, aOR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.44, 1.65, χ2 = 0.21, P = 0.643).
Conclusions: While former smokers who currently vape nicotine daily report higher levels of cigarette smoking dependence pre‐ and post‐cessation compared with former smokers who are current non‐vapers, they report greater confidence in staying quit and similar strength of urges to smoke.[download PDF]
O'Connor, et al. 2019. Characteristics of nicotine vaping products used by participants in the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Background and Aims: The regulatory environment for nicotine vaping products (NVPs) varies widely across countries and this will probably affect the devices used, nicotine content and usage, and hence the ability of NVPs to substitute for cigarettes. We aimed to describe the types of NVPs used by current vapers in four countries with varying regulatory and enforcement approaches toward the marketing and sale of NVPs.
Methods: Data are from wave 1 (July–November 2016) of the ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey (4CV1), conducted among a cohort of current and former smokers, and current NVP users (n = 5147 adults; ≥ 18 years) in Australia (AU), Canada (CA), England (EN) and the United States (US) reporting either current daily, weekly or occasional NVP use. Devices were described by type, brand, voltage variability and refill capacity. Refill solutions were described by flavour and nicotine content. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses were conducted on the overall sample and stratified by country. A multinomial logistic regression examined factors associated with device preference across the whole sample.
Results: The types of NVPs used differed by pattern of use and country. Exclusive, daily vapers were more likely to use refillable pen‐shaped devices [odds ratio (OR) = 10.0] or refillable box‐shaped devices (OR = 5.4) than disposable cigalike devices, when compared with other (non‐daily/dual) users. Nearly all respondents reported using flavoured NVPs, fruit (28.3%) being the most common flavour. Refillable devices were the most popular: refillable box‐shaped devices were more commonly reported by vapers in AU (36.8%) and US (31.4%), whereas in EN (47.4%) and CA (29.7%), vapers more often reported using refillable pen‐style devices. Most users also reported that their products contained nicotine, even in CA (87.8%) and AU (91.2%), where vaping products containing nicotine were technically illegal.
Conclusions: In Australia, Canada, England and the United States in 2016, refillable nicotine vaping products were the most common type of nicotine vaping products used by daily vapers. Most daily vapers reported using flavoured e‐liquids/refills (with variance across countries) and most reported using products that contain nicotine, even where vaping products with nicotine were banned.[download PDF]
Nahhas, et al. 2019. Rules about smoking and vaping in the home: Findings from the 2016 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Aims: To examine rules about smoking and vaping in the home in relation to beliefs about the relative harm of second-hand vapor (SHV) compared with second-hand smoke (SHS) in four countries: Canada, United States, England and Australia.
Design: Data were available from 12 294 adults (18+) who participated in the 2016 (wave 1) International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping (ITC 4CV1) Survey.
Participants: All participants were current or recent former adult smokers.
Measurements: Data were analyzed by weighted logistic regression on rules about smoking and vaping in the home; odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were reported, adjusted for demographic and behavioral variables.
Findings: Of all respondents, 37.4% allowed smoking inside their home. Among a subset who were current vapers (n = 6135), 60.4% allowed vaping in their homes. After controlling for demographic and behavioral characteristics, beliefs about the harm of SHV compared with SHS was not associated with allowing smoking in the home, but was associated with allowing vaping in the home [odds ratio (OR) = 2.86 in Canada, OR = 1.82 in the United States and OR = 1.68 in England]. Characteristics that were associated with rules about vaping inside the home included daily vaping (OR = 2.95, 2.04-4.26; OR = 7.00, 4.12-11.87; OR = 5.50, 3.40-8.88; OR = 7.78, 1.90-31.80), living with a spouse who vapes (OR = 2.48, 1.54-3.98; OR = 2.69, 1.42-5.11; OR = 4.67, 2.74-7.95; OR = 21.82, 2.16-220.9) and living with children aged under 18 years (OR = 0.50, 0.37-0.68; OR = 0.89, 0.48-1.65; OR = 0.76, 0.53-1.09; OR = 0.26, = 0.11-0.61) in Canada, the United States, England and Australia, respectively. Similar characteristics were associated with rules about smoking inside the home.
Conclusions: Among current and former smokers in 2016 in Canada, the United States, England and Australia, 37.4% allowed smoking in the home; 60.4% of current vapers allowed vaping. Both concurrent users and exclusive vapers were more likely to allow vaping than smoking inside the home. Allowing vaping inside the home was correlated with the belief that second-hand vapor is less harmful than second-hand smoke.[download PDF]
Herbec, et al. 2019. Dependence, plans to quit, quitting self-efficacy and past cessation behaviours among menthol and other flavoured cigarette users in Europe – The EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: This study characterises smoking and cessationrelated behaviours among menthol and other flavoured cigarette users in Europe prior to the implementation of the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) ban on the sale of flavoured cigarettes.
Methods: An analysis of cross-sectional data from the 2016 EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys was conducted among a sample of 10760 adult smokers from eight European Union Member States. Respondents were classified as menthol, other flavoured, unflavoured, or no usual flavour cigarette users and compared on smoking and cessation behaviours and characteristics. Data were analysed in SPSS Complex Samples Package using bivariate and multivariate regression analyses adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, dependence, and country.
Results: In bivariate analyses, cigarette flavour was significantly associated with all outcomes (p<0.001). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, these associations attenuated but remained significant and in the same direction for dependence, self-efficacy, plans to quit, past quit attempts, and ever e-cigarette use. In fully adjusted models, compared to smokers of non-flavoured cigarettes, menthol smokers were less likely to smoke daily (AOR=0.47, 95% CI: 0.32–0.71), smoke within 30 min of waking (0.52,0.43–0.64), consider themselves addicted (0.74,0.59–0.94), and more likely to have ever used e-cigarettes (1.26,1.00–1.57); other flavoured cigarette smokers were less likely to smoke daily (0.33,0.15–0.77), and have higher self-efficacy (1.82,1.20–2.77); no usual flavour smokers were less likely to smoke daily (0.34,0.22–0.51), smoke within 30 min of waking (0.66,0.55–0.80), consider themselves addicted (0.65,0.52–0.78), have ever made a quit attempt (0.69,0.58– 0.84), have ever used e-cigarettes (0.66,0.54–0.82), and had higher self-efficacy (1.46,1.19–1.80).
Conclusions: Smokers of different cigarette flavours in Europe differ on smoking and cessation characteristics. The lower dependence of menthol cigarette smokers could lead to greater success rates if quit attempts are made, however cross-country differences in smoking behaviours and quitting intentions could lead to the TPD ban on cigarette flavours having differential impact if not accompanied by additional measures, such as smoking cessation support.[download PDF]
Objective: To assess trends in daily smokers' social norms and opinions of smoking between 2002 and 2015 in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Method: Data were from wave 1 (2002) to wave 9 (2013–2015) of the longitudinal International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey (Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia), involving 23 831 adult daily smokers. Generalized estimating equation logistic regression models, adjusted for demographics and survey design effects, assessed associations of wave and country with outcomes: (A) over half of five closest friends smoke, (B) agreeing that people important to you believe you should not smoke, (C) agreeing that society disapproves of smoking, and (D) negative opinion of smoking.
Results: Between 2002 and 2015, adjusting for covariates, (A) over half of five closest friends smoke did not change (56% vs. 55%; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.95 [95% Confidence Interval = 0.85–1.07]), (B) agreeing that people important to you believe you should not smoke generally decreased (89% vs. 82%; AOR = 0.54 [0.46–0.64]) despite an increase around 2006–2007, (C) agreeing that society disapproves of smoking increased between 2002 and 2006–2007 (83% vs. 87%; AOR = 1.38 [1.24–1.54]) then decreased until 2013–2015 (78%; AOR = 0.74 [0.63–0.88]), and (D) negative opinion of smoking decreased between 2002 and 2010–2011 (54% vs. 49%; AOR = 0.83 [0.75–0.91]) despite an increase around 2005–2006 and at the final wave (2013–2015). Except friend smoking, Canada had the greatest, and the United Kingdom the lowest, antismoking social norms and opinions.
Conclusions: Except friend smoking and opinion of smoking, daily smokers' social norms became less antismoking between 2002 and 2015 despite increases around 2006–2007. Several potential explanations are discussed yet remain undetermined.
Implications: Increasingly comprehensive tobacco control policies alongside decreasing smoking prevalence in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have led to the assumption that smoking has become denormalized in these countries. Absent from the literature is any formal assessment of social norms towards smoking over time. Contrary to our hypotheses, this study found that the injunctive social norms of daily smokers became less antismoking between 2002 and 2015, despite increases around 2006–2007. There was no change over time in the proportion of daily smokers who report that over half of their five closest friends smoke.[download PDF]
2019. Youth self-reported exposure to and perceptions of vaping advertisments: Findings from the 2017 International Tobacco Control Youth Tobacco and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Countries have adopted various regulations to limit youth exposure to vaping product advertising. This study aims to examine youth exposure to and perceptions of vaping ads in Canada, England, and the US, three countries with varying vaping product advertising regulations. Data were analyzed from the 2017 ITC Youth Tobacco and Vaping Survey, an online survey of youth aged 16 to 19 years from a consumer panel (n = 12,064). The survey assessed vaping product ad exposure in the prior month, including channels, perceived appeal, and perceived target audience. Most young people reported some vaping product ad exposure in the past 30 days (Canada = 74%, England = 83%, US = 81%). Among those exposed to vaping product ads, more than one-third found them appealing (Canada = 36%, England = 38%, US = 43%). Stores that sell cigarettes were the most common venue for vaping ad exposure, although it was less common in Canada (46%) than in England (60%) or the US (60%), both of which had less restrictive regulatory environments. Ad exposure through websites or social media did not differ by country (Canada = 38%, England = 40%, US = 41%). Compared to those who never smoked or used vaping products, youth who reported smoking and/or vaping were more likely to report ad exposure through most channels. More than one-third of youth perceived that vaping product ads target non-smokers (Canada = 47%, England = 36%, US = 48%). Our study suggests most youth are exposed to vaping product ads, which may promote product use. Except for online channels, cross-country differences in the channels of ad exposure may reflect contrasting regulatory environments.[download PDF]
Hammond, et al. 2019. Prevalence of vaping and smoking among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States: repeat national cross-sectional surveys [access full article]
Objective: To examine differences in vaping and smoking prevalence among adolescents in Canada, England, and the United States.
Design: Repeat cross sectional surveys.
Setting: Online surveys in Canada, England, and the US.
Participants: National samples of 16 to 19 year olds in 2017 and 2018, recruited from commercial panels in Canada (n=7891), England (n=7897), and the US (n=8140).
Main outcome measures: Prevalence of vaping and smoking was assessed for use ever, in the past 30 days, in the past week, and on 15 days or more in the past month. Use of JUUL (a nicotine salt based electronic cigarette with high nicotine concentration) and usual vaping brands were also assessed. Logistic regression models examined differences in vaping and smoking between countries and over time.
Results: The prevalence of vaping in the past 30 days, in the past week, and on 15 days or more in the past month increased in Canada and the US between 2017 and 2018 (P<0.001 for all), including among non-smokers and experimental smokers, with no changes in England. Smoking prevalence increased in Canada (P<0.001 for all measures), with modest increases in England, and no changes in the US. The percentage of ever vapers who reported more frequent vaping increased in Canada and the US (P<0.01 for all), but not in England. The use of JUUL increased in all countries, particularly the US and Canada—for example, the proportion of current vapers in the US citing JUUL as their usual brand increased threefold between 2017 and 2018.
Conclusions: Between 2017 and 2018, among 16 to 19 year olds the prevalence of vaping increased in Canada and the US, as did smoking in Canada, with little change in England. The rapidly evolving vaping market and emergence of nicotine salt based products warrant close monitoring.[download PDF]
2019. Cross-country comparison of cigarette and vaping product marketing exposure and use: Findings from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Objective: To compare exposure to and use of certain cigarette and vaping product marketing among adult smokers and vapers in four countries with contrasting regulations—Australia (AU), Canada, England and the USA.
Data sources: Adult smokers and vapers (n=12 294) from the 2016 International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey (4CV1).
Analysis: Self-reported exposure to cigarette and vaping product advertising through point-of-sale, websites/social media, emails/texts, as well as exposure to and use of price offers were assessed for country differences using logistic regression models adjusted for multiple covariates.
Results: Reported exposure to cigarette advertising exposure at point-of-sale was higher in the USA (52.1%) than in AU, Canada and England (10.5%–18.5%). Exposure to cigarette advertising on websites/social media and emails/texts was low overall (1.5%–10.4%). Reported exposure to vaping ads at point-of-sale was higher in England (49.3%) and USA (45.9%) than in Canada (32.5%), but vaping ad exposure on websites/social media in Canada (15.1%) was similar with England (18.4%) and the USA (12.1%). Exposure to vaping ads via emails/texts was low overall (3.1%–9.9%). Exposure to, and use of, cigarette price offers was highest in the USA (34.0 % and 17.8 %, respectively), but the use rate among those exposed was highest in AU (64.9%). Exposure to, and use of, price offers for vaping products was higher in the USA (42.3 % and 21.7 %) than in AU, Canada and England (25.9%–31.5 % and 7.4%–10.3 %).
Conclusions: Patterns of cigarette and vaping product marketing exposure generally reflected country-specific policies, except for online vaping ads. Implications for research and policy are discussed.[download PDF]
This study examines whether having health conditions or concerns related to smoking is associated with use of vaping products. Data came from the 2016 wave of the International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey. Smokers and recent quitters (n = 11,344) were asked whether they had a medical diagnosis for nine health conditions (i.e., depression, anxiety, alcohol problems, severe obesity, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease) and concerns about past and future health effects of smoking, and their vaping activities. Respondents with depression and alcohol problems were more likely to be current vapers both daily (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 1.42, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.09–1.85, p < 0.05 for depression; and AOR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.02–2.27, p < 0.05 for alcohol) and monthly (AOR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.11–1.57 for depression, p < 0.01; and AOR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.06–1.90, p < 0.05 for alcohol). Vaping was more likely at monthly level for those with severe obesity (AOR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.29–2.43, p < 0.001), cancer (AOR = 5.19, 95% CI 2.20–12.24, p < 0.001), and concerns about future effects of smoking (AOR = 1.83, 95% CI 1.47–2.28, p < 0.001). Positive associations were also found between chronic pain and concerns about past health effects of smoking and daily vaping. Only having heart disease was, in this case negatively, associated with use of vaping products on their last quit attempt (AOR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.43–0.91, p < 0.05). Self-reported health condition or reduced health associated with smoking is not systematically leading to increased vaping or increased likelihood of using vaping as a quitting strategy.[download PDF]
Ngo, et al. 2019. Analysis of gender differences in the impact of taxation and taxation structure on cigarette consumption in 17 ITC countries [access full article]
Although increasing taxes has been established as the most effective tobacco control policy, it is not clear whether these policies reduce cigarette consumption equally among women and men. In this study, we examine whether the association between taxation/taxation structure and cigarette consumption differs by gender. The data is from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Projects in 17 countries. Cigarette consumption was measured by gender for each ITC country. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were employed to investigate gender differences in the association between cigarette consumption and tax structures, while controlling for time-variant demographic characteristics such as unemployment rates, proportions of adults, and percent of female population. Tiered tax structures are associated with higher cigarette consumption among both males and females. Female smokers are more responsive to an average tax increase than male smokers. Among males, higher ad valorem share in excise taxes is associated with lower cigarette consumption, but it is not the case for females. Females may not be as responsive to the prices raised by ad valorem taxes, despite being responsive to average taxes, suggesting that smokers by gender may face different prices.[download PDF]
Yong, et al. 2019. Reasons for regular vaping and for its discontinuation among smokers and recent ex-smokers: Findings from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Aims: To examine current and ex‐ smokers’ reasons for continuing or discontinuing regular use of nicotine vaping products (NVPs).
Design and participants: Cross‐sectional study of 2,722 current daily/weekly, and 921 ex‐daily/weekly, adult vapers who were either current or ex‐cigarette smokers when surveyed.
Setting: 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 (4CV1) surveys conducted in the United States (n=1159), England (n=1269), Canada (n=964), and Australia (n=251).
Measurements: Current vapers were asked about the following reasons for regular NVP use: less harmful to others, social acceptance, enjoyment, use in smoke‐free areas, affordability, and managing smoking behaviour. Ex‐vapers were asked about the following reasons for discontinuing regular NVP use: addiction concerns, affordability, negative experiences, perceived social unacceptability, safety concerns, product dissatisfaction, inconvenience, unhelpfulness for quitting, unhelpfulness for managing cravings, and not needed for smoking relapse prevention. Possible correlates of NVP use and discontinuation, including smoking status, smoking/vaping frequency, quit duration (ex‐smokers only), country, age, and type of NVP device used, were examined using multivariate logistic regression models.
Findings: For current smokers, the top three reasons for current regular NVP use were: helpful for cutting down smoking (86%), less harmful to others (78%), and helpful for quitting smoking (77%). The top three reasons for discontinuing vaping were: not being satisfying (78%), unhelpfulness for cravings (63%), and unhelpfulness for quitting smoking (52%). For ex‐smokers, the top three reasons for current vaping were: enjoyment (91%), less harmful to others (90%) and affordability (90%); and for discontinuing were: not needed to stay quit (77%), not being satisfying (50%) and safety concerns (44%). Reported reasons varied by user characteristics, including age, country and NVP device‐type.
Conclusions: Regular use of nicotine vaping products is mainly motivated by its perceived benefits, especially for reducing or quitting smoking, whereas its discontinuation is motivated by perceived lack of such benefits, with some variation by user characteristics.[download PDF]
Borland, et al. 2019. A new classification system for describing the use of nicotine vaping products alongside cigarettes (so-called "dual-use"): Findings from the ITC 4-Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 Survey [access full article]
Aims: To determine whether a simple combination of level of smoking and level of vaping results in a useful typology for characterising smoking and vaping behaviours.
Methods: Cross‐sectional data from adults (≥18 years) in the 2016 Wave 1 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey in the United States (n=2291), England (n=3591), Australia (n=1376), and Canada (n=2784) were used. Participants who either smoked, vaped or concurrently used both at least monthly were included and divided into 8 groups based on use frequency of each product (daily, non‐daily, no current use). This resulted in 4 concurrent use groups (predominant smokers, dual daily users, predominant vapers and concurrent non‐daily users). These groups were compared with each other and with the 4 exclusive use groups, on socio‐demographics, nicotine dependence, beliefs and attitudes about both products, and quit‐related measures using data weighted to reference population surveys in each country.
Results: 10.8% of the sample were concurrent users, with daily smokers vaping non‐daily (predominant smokers) constituting 51.6% of this group. All 8 categories differed from other categories on at least some measures. Concurrent daily nicotine users reported higher levels of indicators of nicotine dependence, and generally more positive attitudes toward both smoking and vaping than concurrent non‐daily users. Among daily nicotine users, compared with exclusive daily smokers, reports of interest in quitting were higher in all concurrent use groups. Dual daily users had the most positive attitudes about smoking overall, and saw it as the least denormalised, and at the same time were equally interested in quitting as other concurrent users and were most likely to report intending to continue vaping.
Conclusions: In Australia, Canada, England and the United States in 2016, daily nicotine users differed considerably from non‐daily nicotine users. Among daily nicotine users, dual daily users (those who smoke and vape concurrently) should be treated as a distinct grouping when studying relationships between smoking and vaping. The 8 level typology characterising concurrent and exclusive use of smoking and vaping should be considered when studying both products.[download PDF]
Cheng, et al. 2019. Prices, use restrictions, and electronic cigarette use: Evidence from ITC US of the 4CV1 (2016) Survey [access full article]
Aims: To determine if there are associations between changes in the explicit (i.e., price) and implicit (i.e., use restrictions in public places) costs of cigarettes and nicotine vaping products (NVPs) and their use patterns in the United States.
Methods: Data came from the Wave 1 (2016) US data of the ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey (ITC US 4CV1) and Nielsen Scanner Track database. A multiple logistic regression model was applied to estimate the likelihoods of NVP use (vaping at least monthly), cigarette/NVP concurrent use (vaping and smoking at least monthly), and switch from cigarettes to NVPs (had quit smoking < 24 months and currently vape) among ever smokers, conditioning upon cigarette/NVP prices, use restrictions and socio‐demographics.
Results: Living in places where vaping is allowed in smoke‐free areas was significantly associated with an increase in the likelihood of vaping (Marginal Effect, M.E. = 0.17; p<0.05) and the concurrent use of cigarettes and NVPs (M.E. = 0.11; p<0.05). Higher NVP prices were associated with decreased likelihood of NVP use, concurrent use, and complete switch (P>0.05). Higher cigarette prices were associated with greater likelihood of cigarette and NVP concurrent use (P>0.05). Working in places where vaping is banned is associated with lower likelihood of vaping and NVP and cigarette concurrent use (P>0.05).
Conclusions: Higher prices for nicotine vaping products (NVPs) and vaping restrictions in public places are associated with less NVP use and less concurrent use of vaping and smoking. Public policies that increase prices for vaping devices and supplies (i.e., regulations, taxes) and restrict where vaping is allowed are likely to suppress vaping.[download PDF]
Braak, et al. 2019. Where do vapers buy their vaping supplies? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) 4 Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Aim: This study examines where vapers purchase their vaping refills in countries having different regulations over such devices, Canada (CA), the United States (US), England (EN), and Australia (AU).
Methods: Data were available from 1899 current adult daily and weekly vapers who participated in the 2016 (Wave 1) International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping. The outcome was purchase location of vaping supplies (online, vape shop, other). Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were reported for between country comparisons.
Results: Overall, 41.4% of current vapers bought their vaping products from vape shops, 27.5% bought them online, and 31.1% from other retail locations. The vast majority of vapers (91.1%) reported using nicotine-containing e-liquids. In AU, vapers were more likely to buy online vs other locations compared to CA (OR = 6.4, 2.3–17.9), the US (OR = 4.1, 1.54–10.7), and EN (OR = 7.9, 2.9–21.8). In the US, they were more likely to buy from vape shops (OR = 3.3, 1.8–6.2) or online (OR = 1.9, 1.0–3.8) vs other retail locations when compared to those in EN. In CA, vapers were more likely to purchase at vape shops than at other retail locations when compared to vapers in EN (5.9, 3.2–10.9) and the US (1.87, 1.0–3.1).
Conclusions: The regulatory environment and enforcement of such regulations appear to influence the location where vapers buy their vaping products. In AU, banning the retail sale of nicotine vaping products has led vapers to rely mainly on online purchasing sources, whereas the lack of enforcement of the same regulation in CA has allowed specialty vape shops to flourish.[download PDF]
Gravely, et al. 2019. Prevalence of awareness, ever-use, and current use of NVPs among adult current smokers and ex-smokers in 14 countries with differing regulations on sales and marketing of NVPs: Cross-sectional findings from the ITC Project [access full article]
Aims: This paper presents updated prevalence estimates of awareness, ever‐use, and current use of nicotine vaping products (NVPs) from 14 International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project) countries that have varying regulations governing NVP sales and marketing.
Design, setting, participants and measurements: A cross‐sectional analysis of adult (≥18 years) current smokers and ex‐smokers from 14 countries participating in the ITC Project. Data from the most recent survey questionnaire for each country were included, which spanned the period 2013 to 2017. Countries were categorized into four groups based on regulations governing NVP sales and marketing (allowable or not), and level of enforcement (strict or weak where NVPs are not permitted to be sold): (1) most restrictive policies (MRPs): not legal to be sold or marketed with strict enforcement: Australia, Brazil, Uruguay; (2) restrictive policies (RPs): not approved for sale or marketing with weak enforcement: Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand (NZ); (3) less restrictive policies (LRPs): legal to be sold and marketed with regulations: England, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, United States (US); (4) no regulatory policies (NRPs): Bangladesh, China, Zambia. Countries were also grouped by World Bank Income Classifications. Country‐specific weighted logistic regression models estimated adjusted NVP prevalence estimates for: awareness, ever/current use, and frequency of use (daily vs. non‐daily).
Findings: NVP awareness and use were lowest in NRP countries. Generally, ever‐ and current use of NVPs were lower in MRP countries [ever‐use: 7.1% to 48.9%; current use: 0.3% to 3.5%] relative to LRP countries [ever‐use: 38.9% to 66.6%; current use: 5.5% to 17.2%] and RP countries [ever‐use: 10.0% to 62.4%; current use: 1.4% to 15.5%]. NVP use was highest among high income countries, followed by upper‐middle income countries, and then by lower‐middle income countries.
Conclusions: With a few exceptions, awareness and use of nicotine vaping products (NVPs) varies by the strength of national regulations governing NVP sales/marketing, and by country income. In countries with no regulatory policies, use rates were very low, suggesting that there was little availability, marketing and/or interest in NVPs in these countries where smoking populations are predominantly poorer. The higher awareness and use of NVPs in high income countries with moderately (e.g., Canada, NZ) and less (e.g., England, US) restrictive policies, is likely due to the greater availability and affordability of NVPs.[download PDF]
McDermott, et al. 2019. Exposure to and perceptions of health warning labels on nicotine vaping products: Findings from the 2016 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Background and Aims: The presence and content of health warning labels (HWLs) on nicotine vaping products (NVPs), such as electronic cigarettes, varies by country and manufacturer. We compared proportions of people who report (i) noticing HWLs on NVPs and (ii) feeling concerned having noticed HWLs, by country and by smoking or vaping status. We also examined recall of HWL content and whether this varies by country.
Design: Cross‐sectional survey
Setting: Australia (AU), Canada (CA), England (EN), and the United States (US). At the time of data collection, HWLs on NVPs were only mandatory in EN.
Participants: A total of 11561 respondents from the following samples in the 2016 International Tobacco Control 4‐Country Project: (1) re‐contacted smokers and quitters who had participated in the previous wave of the project; (2) newly recruited current smokers and recent quitters, and (3) newly recruited current vapers from CA, EN and US.
Measurements: Outcomes included: 1) having noticed HWLs on NVPs, 2) feeling concerned having noticed HWLs, and 3) recall of HWL message content.
Findings: Compared with respondents in EN, respondents in CA were more likely to report having noticed HWLs (OR=1.58, p=0.02) whereas respondents in AU (OR=0.76, p=1.00) and the US (OR=1.54, p=0.09) were not significantly more or less likely to report having noticed HWLs. Compared with concurrent smokers and vapers, daily smokers, non‐daily smokers, and quitters were less likely to report having noticed HWLs, (ORs=0.21, 0.33 and 0.19 respectively, all p<0.001). There were no significant differences in reports of noticing HWLs when comparing concurrent smokers and vapers with daily (OR=1.62, p=0.91) or non‐daily (OR=1.15, p=1.00) vapers. There were no significant differences by country in reporting that HWLs made them concerned about using NVPs. Daily vapers were less likely to report feeling concerned than concurrent users (OR=0.11, p=0.017). Among those who reported reading HWLs (n=688), there was little evidence of differences in recall of the HWL content.
Conclusions: Respondents in England, where health warning labels on nicotine vaping products are not mandatory, were not significantly more likely to report having noticed such warnings than those in Australia, Canada and the US where warnings are not mandatory.[download PDF]
Introduction: This study explores whether current smokers’ social norms towards smoking and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) vary across seven European countries alongside smoking and e-cigarette prevalence rates. At the time of surveying, England had the lowest current smoking prevalence and Greece the highest. Hungary, Romania and Spain had the lowest prevalence of any e-cigarette use and England the highest.
Methods: Respondents were adult (≥18 years) current smokers from the 2016 EUREST-PLUS ITC (Romania, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Greece, Germany) and ITC 4CV England Surveys (N=7779). Using logistic regression, associations between country and (a) smoking norms and (b) e-cigarette norms were assessed, adjusting for age, sex, income, education, smoking status, heaviness of smoking, and ecigarette status.
Results: Compared with England, smoking norms were higher in all countries: reporting that at least three of five closest friends smoke (19% vs 65–84% [AOR=6.9–24.0; Hungary–Greece]), perceiving that people important to them approve of smoking (8% vs 14–57% [1.9–51.1; Spain–Hungary]), perceiving that the public approves of smoking (5% vs 6–37% [1.7–15.8; Spain–Hungary]), disagreeing that smokers are marginalised (9% vs 16–50% [2.3–12.3; Poland–Greece]) except in Hungary. Compared with England: reporting that at least one of five closest friends uses e-cigarettes was higher in Poland (28% vs 36% [2.7]) but lower in Spain and Romania (28% vs 6–14% [0.3–0.6]), perceiving that the public approves of e-cigarettes was higher in Poland, Hungary and Greece (32% vs 36–40% [1.5–1.6]) but lower in Spain and Romania in unadjusted analyses only (32% vs 24–26%), reporting seeing e-cigarette use in public at least some days was lower in all countries (81% vs 12–55% [0.1–0.4]; Spain–Greece).
Conclusions: Smokers from England had the least pro-smoking norms. Smokers from Spain had the least pro-e-cigarette norms. Friend smoking and disagreeing that smokers are marginalised broadly aligned with country-level current smoking rates. Seeing e-cigarette use in public broadly aligned with countrylevel any e-cigarette use. Generally, no other norms aligned with product prevalence.[download PDF]
van den Brand, et al. 2019. Does free or lower cost smoking cessation medication stimulate quitting? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Netherlands and UK Surveys
Objective: To investigate whether mentioning free or lower cost smoking cessation medication as a trigger for thinking about quitting is related to higher medication use, more quit attempts and quit success, and whether these associations are modified by education and income.
Methods: Data were derived from the 2013 and 2014 surveys of the International Tobacco Control Netherlands (n=1164) and UK (n=768) cohort. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess associations between mentioning in 2013 that free/lower cost smoking cessation medication was a trigger for thinking about quitting smoking and the use of medication, quit attempts and smoking cessation in 2014.
Results: 37.0% of smokers in the UK and 24.9% of smokers in the Netherlands mentioned free/lower cost medication as a trigger for thinking about quitting. Smokers who mentioned this trigger were more likely to have used cessation medication during a quit attempt both in the UK (OR=4.19, p<0.001) and in the Netherlands (OR=2.14, p=0.033). The association between mentioning free/lower cost medication as a trigger for thinking about quitting and actual quit attempts was significant in the UK (OR=1.45, p=0.030), but not in the Netherlands (OR=1.10, p=0.587). There was no significant association with quit success. Associations did not differ across income and education groups.
Conclusion: Free/lower cost smoking cessation medication may increase the use of cessation medication and stimulate quit attempts among smokers with low, moderate and high education and income.[download PDF]
Shang, et al. 2019. Association between tax structure and cigarette consumption: findings from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project [access full article]
Background: Recent studies show that greater price variability and more opportunities for tax avoidance are associated with tax structures that depart from a specific uniform one. These findings indicate that tax structures other than a specific uniform one may lead to more cigarette consumption.
Objective: This paper aims to examine how cigarette tax structure is associated with cigarette consumption.
Methods: We used survey data taken from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project in 17 countries to conduct the analysis. Self-reported cigarette consumption was aggregated to average measures for each surveyed country and wave. The effect of tax structures on cigarette consumption was estimated using generalised estimating equations after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, average taxes and year fixed effects.
Findings: Our study provides important empirical evidence of a relationship between tax structure and cigarette consumption. We find that a change from a specific to an ad valorem structure is associated with a 6%–11% higher cigarette consumption. In addition, a change from uniform to tiered structure is associated with a 34%–65% higher cigarette consumption. The results are consistent with existing evidence and suggest that a uniform and specific tax structure is the most effective tax structure for reducing tobacco consumption.[download PDF]
Chan, et al. 2018. Predicting vaping uptake, vaping frequency and ongoing vaping among daily smokers using longitudinal data from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Surveys [access full article]
Aim: To assess (1) how far smoking patterns, depression and smoking‐related beliefs and intentions predict vaping uptake, current vaping and vaping frequency among daily smokers; and (2) how far the aforementioned predictors and baseline vaping frequency predict current vaping among those who reported ever vaped.
Design: Analysis of data from six waves of a longitudinal survey over 8 years. Longitudinal associations between predictors and outcomes were examined using multi‐level models.
Setting: United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia.
Participants: A total of 6296 daily smokers (53% females) who contributed data to at least two consecutive survey waves.
Measurements: The outcome variables were vaping uptake, vaping frequency and current vaping at follow‐up. The key predictor variables, measured in previous waves, were time to first cigarette, cigarettes smoked per day, depressive symptoms, intention to quit smoking, quitting self‐efficacy and worry about adverse health effects of smoking.
Findings: Number of cigarettes smoked daily was associated with (1) subsequent vaping uptake [odds ratio (OR) = 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.19, 2.39 for 30+ cigarette per day; reference category: 0–10 cigarettes] and (2) a higher frequency of current vaping (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.36, 2.85 for 30+ cigarettes). Intention to quit was associated with a higher frequency of current vaping (OR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.21, 1.82). Among those who reported ever vaped, higher baseline vaping frequency (OR = 11.98, 95% CI = 6.00, 23.93 for daily vaping at baseline; reference category: vaped less than monthly) predicted current vaping.
Conclusion: Among daily smokers, amount smoked and intention to quit smoking appear to predict subsequent vaping uptake. Vaping frequency at baseline appears to predict current vaping at follow‐up.[download PDF]
Zatonski, et al. 2018. Characterising smokers of menthol and flavoured cigarettes, their attitudes towards tobacco regulation, and the anticipated impact of the Tobacco Products Directive on their smoking and quitting behaviours: The EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: Little research exists on the sociodemographic characteristics of menthol and flavoured cigarette (MFC) smokers in Europe. This study assessed the proportion of MFC smokers in Europe, their sociodemographic characteristics, and their attitudes towards tobacco control measures.
Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected in 2016 among 10760 adult current smokers from 8 European countries (ITC Europe Project and EUREST-PLUS). Smokers of menthol, other flavoured, unflavoured tobacco, or no usual brand were compared on sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes towards a range of tobacco control measures (e.g. ban on flavouring), and on intentions regarding their smoking behaviour following the ban on flavoured tobacco. Data were analysed in SPSS Complex Samples Package using univariate analyses.
Results: Among the respondents, 7.4% smoked menthol cigarettes and 2.9% other flavoured tobacco, but large differences existed between countries (e.g. 0.4% smokers smoked menthol cigarettes in Spain vs 12.4% in England). Compared to other groups, menthol cigarette smokers were younger, more likely to be female, better educated, had higher household income, and smoked fewer cigarettes (all p<0.001). A quarter of menthol smokers supported a ban on additives, compared with almost half of all other smokers (p<0.001). In case of a ban on flavourings, around a fifth of all MFC smokers intended to switch to another brand, and a third to reduce the amount they smoked or to quit smoking, but there was no consistent pattern across MFC smokers among the countries.
Conclusions: The ban on flavourings introduced by the EU Tobacco Products Directive (extended to 2020 for menthols) will affect one in ten smokers in the countries surveyed, which provides an opportunity for targeting these groups with cessation programmes. However, smokers of menthol and flavoured cigarettes in the different European countries are a heterogeneous group and may need different approaches.[download PDF]