Scientific Journal Articles
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Kaai, et al. 2021. Quasi-experimental evaluation of Kenya’s pictorial health warnings vs. Zambia’s single text-only warning: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project. [access full article]
Kaai, S.C., Sansone, G., Meng, G., Ong'ang'o, J., Goma, F., Ikamari, L., Quah, A.C.K., Fong, G.T. (2021). Quasi-experimental evaluation of Kenya's pictorial warnings vs. Zambia's single text-only warning: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project. Tobacco Control, [Published online, doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-056396].
Background: Population studies in mostly high-income countries have shown that pictorial health warnings (PHWs) are much more effective than text-only warnings. This is the first quasi-experimental evaluation of the introduction of PHWs in Africa, comparing the change from text-only to PHWs in Kenya to the unchanged text-only health warning in Zambia.
Methods: Data were from International Tobacco Control (ITC) Surveys in Kenya (n=1495), and Zambia (n=1628), cohort surveys of nationally representative samples of adult smokers in each country. The ITC Kenya Survey was conducted in 2012 and 2018 (2 years after the 2016 introduction of three PHWs). The ITC Zambia Survey was conducted in 2012 and 2014 with no change to the single text-only warning. Validated indicators of health warning effectiveness (HWIs) (salience: noticing, reading; cognitive reactions: thinking about health risks, thinking about quitting; and behavioural reactions: avoiding warnings; forgoing a cigarette because of the warnings), and a summary measure-the Labels Impact Index (LII)-measured changes in warning impact between the two countries.
Results: PHWs implemented in Kenya led to a significant increase in all HWIs and the LII, compared with the text-only warning in Zambia. The failure to implement PHWs in Zambia led to a substantial missed opportunity to increase warning effectiveness (eg, an estimated additional 168 392 smokers in Zambia would have noticed the warnings).
Conclusions: The introduction of PHWs in Kenya substantially increased the effectiveness of warnings. These results provide strong empirical support for 34 African countries that still have text-only warnings, of which 31 are Parties of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and are thus obligated to implement PHWs.[download PDF]
Kaai, et al. 2019. Identifying factors associated with quit intentions among smokers from two nationally representative samples in Africa: Findings from the ITC Kenya and Zambia Surveys [access full article]
It is well established that intentions to quit smoking is the strongest predictor of future quit attempts. However, most studies on quit intentions have been conducted in high-income countries with very few in low- and middle-income countries particularly in Africa. This is the first population-based study to compare factors associated with quit intentions among smokers in two African countries. Data were from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Kenya and Zambia Surveys (2012), face-to-face surveys of nationally representative samples of 2291 adult smokers (Kenya = 1103; Zambia = 1188). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify predictors of quit intentions. Most Kenyan (65.1%) and Zambian (69.1%) smokers had quit intentions of which 54.8% planned to quit within the next 6 months. Five factors were significantly associated with quit intentions in both countries: being younger, having tried to quit previously, perceiving that quitting is beneficial to health, worrying about future health consequences of smoking, and being low in nicotine dependence. The predictive strength of these factors did not differ in the two countries. Four additional factors were significant predictors in Zambia only: having a quit attempt lasting six months or more, lower smoking enjoyment, having a negative opinion about smoking, and concern about cigarette expenses. The factors predicting quit intentions were similar to those in other ITC countries including Canada, US, UK, China and Mauritius. These findings highlight the need for stronger tobacco control policies in Kenya and Zambia including increased taxation, greater access to cessation services, and anti-smoking campaigns denormalizing tobacco use.[download PDF]
Stoklosa, et al. 2019. Price, tax and tobacco product substitution in Zambia: Findings from the ITC Zambia Survey [access full article]
Background: In Zambia, the number of cigarette users is growing, and the lack of strong tax policies is likely an important cause. When adjusted for inflation, levels of tobacco tax have not changed since 2007. Moreover, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, a less-costly alternative to factory-made (FM) cigarettes, is highly prevalent.
Data and methods: We modelled the probability of FM and RYO cigarette smoking using individual-level data obtained from the 2012 and 2014 waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Zambia Survey. We used two estimation methods: the standard estimation method involving separate random effects probit models and a method involving a system of equations (incorporating bivariate seemingly unrelated random effects probit) to estimate price elasticities of FM and RYO cigarettes and their cross-price elasticities.
Results: The estimated price elasticities of smoking prevalence are −0.20 and −0.03 for FM and RYO cigarettes, respectively. FM and RYO are substitutes; that is, when the price of one of the products goes up, some smokers switch to the other product. The effects are stronger for substitution from FM to RYO than vice versa.
Conclusions: This study affirms that increasing cigarette tax with corresponding price increases could significantly reduce cigarette use in Zambia. Furthermore, reducing between-product price differences would reduce substitution from FM to RYO. Since RYO use is associated with lower socioeconomic status, efforts to decrease RYO use, including through tax/price approaches and cessation assistance, would decrease health inequalities in Zambian society and reduce the negative economic consequences of tobacco use experienced by the poor.[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]
Kaai, et al. 2016. Misperceptions about “light” cigarettes among smokers in Zambia: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Zambia Survey
Little is known about beliefs about “light” cigarettes (“lights”) in African countries where both tobacco industry activity and tobacco control efforts are intensifying. This study in Zambia is the first to examine the prevalence and beliefs about “lights” among smokers in Africa. Data are from 1,214 smokers participating in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Zambia Wave 1 Survey (2012), a multi-stage clustered sampling design, face-to-face nationally representative probability sample of tobacco users and non-users aged 15 years and older. 17.0% of respondents’ usual brand of cigarettes was “lights”. 36.5% of smokers believed that “lights” are less harmful; beliefs differed by brand type (42.1% “lights” vs. 38.2% “non-lights”). 42.0% of smokers believed that “lights” are smoother on the throat and chest than regular cigarettes with beliefs differing by brand type. Among smokers who believed that “lights” are smoother, 81.0% believed that these cigarettes are less harmful, much higher than the 4.1% of smokers who did not believe that “lights” are smoother. Smoothness beliefs about “lights” was the strongest predictor of the belief that “lights” are less harmful (p<0.001, OR=131.13, 95% CI 59.4 to 289.5). Zambian smokers incorrectly believe that “lights” are less harmful. The highly strong association between the belief that “lights” are smoother and the belief that “lights” are less harmful suggests that tobacco control policies need to use a multi-pronged approach including product regulation, banning misleading descriptors and menthol, and implementing sustained long-term public education campaigns to combat sensory beliefs and misperceptions about “lights”.[download PDF]
Salloum, et al. 2015. Cigarette price and other factors associated with brand choice and brand loyalty in Zambia: Findings from the ITC Zambia Survey [access full article]
Objectives: Little is known about cigarette pricing and brand loyalty in sub-Saharan Africa. This study examines these issues in Zambia, analysing data from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Zambia Survey.
Methods: Data from Wave 1 of the ITC Zambia Survey (2012) were analysed for current smokers of factory-made (FM) cigarettes compared with those who smoked both FM and roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes, using multivariate logistic regression models to identify the predictors of brand loyalty and reasons for brand choice.
Results: 75% of FM-only smokers and 64% of FM+RYO smokers reported having a regular brand. Compared with FM-only smokers, FM+RYO smokers were, on average, older (28% vs 20% ≥40 years), low income (64% vs 43%) and had lower education (76% vs 44% < secondary). Mean price across FM brands was ZMW0.50 (US$0.08) per stick. Smokers were significantly less likely to be brand loyal (>1 year) if they were aged 15–17 years (vs 40–54 years) and if they had moderate (vs low) income. Brand choice was predicted mostly by friends, taste and brand popularity. Price was more likely to be a reason for brand loyalty among FM+RYO smokers, among ≥55-year-old smokers and among those who reported being more addicted to cigarettes.
Conclusions: These results in Zambia document the high levels of brand loyalty in a market where price variation is fairly small across cigarette brands. Future research is needed on longitudinal trends to evaluate the effect of tobacco control policies in Zambia.[download PDF]