Scientific Journal Articles
Showing 226-250 of 605 Results
Cooper, et al. 2016. Depression motivates quit attempts but predicts relapse: Differential findings for gender from the International Tobacco Control Study [access full article]
Aims: To determine whether signs of current depression predict attempts to quit smoking, and short-term abstinence among those who try, and to test moderating effects of gender and cessation support (pharmacological and behavioural).
Design: Prospective cohort with approximately annual waves. Among smokers at one wave we assessed outcomes at the next wave using mixed-effects logistic regressions.
Setting: Waves 5-8 of the Four Country International Tobacco Control Study: a quasi-experimental cohort study of smokers from Canada, USA, UK and Australia.
Participants: A total of 6811 tobacco smokers who participated in telephone surveys.
Measurements: Three-level depression index: (1) neither low positive affect (LPA) nor negative affect (NA) in the last 4 weeks; (2) LPA and/or NA but not diagnosed with depression in the last 12 months; and (3) diagnosed with depression. Outcomes were quit attempts and 1-month abstinence among attempters.
Findings: Depression positively predicted quit attempts, but not after controlling for quitting history and motivational variables. Controlling for all covariates, depression consistently negatively predicted abstinence. Cessation support did not moderate this effect. There was a significant interaction with gender for quit attempts (P = 0.018) and abstinence (P = 0.049) after controlling for demographics, but not after all covariates. Depression did not predict abstinence among men. Among women, depressive symptoms [odds ratio (OR) = 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.49-0.81] and diagnosis (OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.34-0.63) negatively predicted abstinence.
Conclusions: Smokers with depressive symptoms or diagnosis make more quit attempts than their non-depressed counterparts, which may be explained by higher motivation to quit, but they are also more likely to relapse in the first month. These findings are stronger in women than men.[download PDF]
Li, et al. 2016. Impact of graphic pack warnings on adult smokers' quitting activities: Findings from the ITC Southeast Asia Survey (2005-2014) [access full article]
Malaysia introduced graphic health warning labels (GHWLs) on all tobacco packages in 2009. We aimed to examine if implementing GHWLs led to stronger warning reactions (e.g., thinking about the health risks of smoking) and an increase in subsequent quitting activities; and to examine how reactions changed over time since the implementation of the GHWLs in Malaysia and Thailand where GHWL size increased from 50–55% in 2010. Data came from six waves (2005–2014) of the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia Survey. Between 3,706 and 4,422 smokers were interviewed across these two countries at each survey wave. Measures included salience of warnings, cognitive responses (i.e., thinking about the health risks and being more likely to quit smoking), forgoing cigarettes, and avoiding warnings. The main outcome was subsequent quit attempts. Following the implementation of GHWLs in Malaysia, reactions increased, in some cases to levels similar to the larger Thai warnings, but declined over time. In Thailand, reactions increased following implementation, with no decline for several years, and no clear effect of the small increase in warning size. Reactions, mainly cognitive responses, were consistently predictive of quit attempts in Thailand, but this was only consistently so in Malaysia after the change to GHWLs. In conclusion, GHWLs are responded to more frequently, and generate more quit attempts, but warning wear-out is not consistent in these two countries, perhaps due to differences in other tobacco control efforts.[download PDF]
Balmford, et al. 2016. Impact of the introduction of standardised packaging on smokers' brand awareness and identification in Australia [access full article]
Introduction and Aims: The introduction of standardised packaging (SP) in Australia in December 2012 has heightened interest in how image and branding might affect smoking. This paper tests the hypothesis that brand awareness and identification among smokers will decline after the introduction of SP.
Design and Methods: Longitudinal study of three waves of smokers in Australia, conducted between October 2011–February 2012 (pre-SP) (n = 1104), February–May 2013 (post-SP1) (n = 1093) and August–December 2014 (post-SP2) (n = 1090). We explored the extent of changes in two variables, brand awareness (noticing others with the brand of cigarettes you smoke) and brand identification (perceiving something in common among smokers of your brand), and examined change in a number of other measures of brand appeal, brand characteristics and determinants of brand choice.
Results: Brand awareness 'at least sometimes’ reduced from 45.3% pre-SP to 26.9% at post-SP2 [odds ratio (OR) 0.35 (0.27–0.45)]. Brand identification also decreased from 18.2% to 12.7% [OR 0.62 (0.42–0.91)]. Significant decline was also found in measures of perceived brand prestige [OR 0.51 (0.39–0.66)] and choice of brand for health reasons [OR 0.45 (0.32–0.63)]. Liking the look of the pack was strongly associated with brand identification, but only post-SP (P = 0.02 for interaction across the three waves).
Discussion and Conclusions: The introduction of SP of tobacco products in Australia has been associated with reductions in brand awareness and identification, and changes in related measures. The findings support the notion that SP has reduced the capacity for smokers to use pack branding to create and communicate a desired identity.[download PDF]
Nagelhout, et al. 2016. Educational differences in the impact of pictorial cigarette warning labels on smokers: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys
Objective: To examine (1) the impact of pictorial cigarette warning labels on changes in self-reported warning label responses: warning salience, cognitive responses, forgoing cigarettes and avoiding warnings, and (2) whether these changes differed by smokers’ educational level.
Methods: Longitudinal data of smokers from two survey waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys were used. In France and the UK, pictorial warning labels were implemented on the back of cigarette packages between the two survey waves. In Germany and the Netherlands, the text warning labels did not change.
Findings: Warning salience decreased between the surveys in France (OR=0.81, p=0.046) and showed a non-significant increase in the UK (OR=1.30, p=0.058), cognitive responses increased in the UK (OR=1.34, p<0.001) and decreased in France (OR=0.70, p=0.002), forgoing cigarettes increased in the UK (OR=1.65, p<0.001) and decreased in France (OR=0.83, p=0.047), and avoiding warnings increased in France (OR=2.93, p<0.001) and the UK (OR=2.19, p<0.001). Warning salience and cognitive responses decreased in Germany and the Netherlands, forgoing did not change in these countries and avoidance increased in Germany. In general, these changes in warning label responses did not differ by education. However, in the UK, avoidance increased especially among low (OR=2.25, p=0.001) and moderate educated smokers (OR=3.21, p<0.001).
Conclusions: The warning labels implemented in France in 2010 and in the UK in 2008 with pictures on one side of the cigarette package did not succeed in increasing warning salience, but did increase avoidance. The labels did not increase educational inequalities among continuing smokers.[download PDF]
Cooper, et al. 2016. The impact of quitting smoking on depressive symptoms: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey [access full article]
Aims: To determine whether abstinence or relapse on a quit attempt in the previous year is associated with current depressive symptoms.
Design: Prospective cohort with approximately annual waves. Mixed effect logistic regressions tested whether Time 2 (T2) quitting status was associated with reporting symptoms at T2, and whether Time 1 (T1) symptoms moderated this relationship.
Setting: Waves 5 to 8 of the Four Country International Tobacco Control Study: a quasi-experimental cohort study of smokers from Canada, USA, UK and Australia.
Participants: 6978 smokers who participated in telephone surveys.
Measurements: T1 and T2 depressive symptoms in the last 4 weeks assessed with two screening items from the PRIME-MD questionnaire. Quitting status at T2: 1) No attempt since T1; 2) Attempted and relapsed; 3) Attempted and abstinent at T2.
Findings: Compared with no attempt, relapse was associated with reporting T2 symptoms (OR = 1.46, 95% CI:1.33,1.59). Associations between T2 quitting status and T2 symptoms were moderated by T1 symptoms. Relapse was positively associated with T2 symptoms for those without T1 symptoms (OR = 1.71, 95% CI:1.45,2.03) and those with T1 symptoms (OR = 1.45, 95% CI:1.23,1.70). Abstinence was positively associated for those without T1 symptoms (OR = 1.37, 95% CI:1.10,1.71) and negatively associated for those with T1 symptoms (OR = 0.74, 95% CI:0.59,0.94). Age significantly moderated these associations. Relapse did not predict T2 symptoms for those aged 18 to 39 irrespective of T1 symptoms. The negative effect of abstinence on T2 symptoms for those with T1 symptoms was significant only for those aged 18 to 39 (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.94) and 40 to 55 (OR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.84). The positive effect of abstinence on T2 symptoms for those without T1 symptoms was significant only for those aged over 55 (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.35, 2.87).
Conclusions: Most people who stop smoking appear to be at no greater risk of developing symptoms of depression than if they had continued smoking. However, people over age 55 who stop smoking may be at greater risk of developing symptoms of depression than if they had continued smoking.[download PDF]
Zethof, et al. 2016. Attrition analysed in five waves of a longitudinal yearly survey of smokers: Findings from the ITC Netherlands Survey
Background: Attrition bias can affect the external validity of findings. This article analyses attrition bias and assesses the effectiveness of replenishment samples on demographic and smoking-related characteristics for the International Tobacco Control Netherlands Survey, a longitudinal survey among smokers.
Methods: Attrition analyses were conducted for the first five survey waves (2008–12). We assessed, including and excluding replenishment samples, whether the demographic composition of the samples changed between the first and fifth waves. Replenishment samples were tailored to ensure the sample remained representative of the smoking population. We also constructed a multivariable survival model of attrition that included all five waves with replenishment samples.
Results: Of the original 1820 respondents recruited in 2008, 46% participated again in 2012. Demographic differences between waves due to attrition were generally small and replenishment samples tended to minimize them further. The multivariable survival analysis revealed that only two of the 10 variables analysed were significant predictors of attrition: a weak effect for gender (men dropped out more often) and weak to moderate effects for age (respondents aged 15–24 years dropped out more than aged 25–39 years, who dropped out more than those aged 40+ years).
Conclusions: Weak to moderate attrition effects were found for men and younger age groups. This information could be used to minimize respondent attrition. Our findings suggest that sampling weights and tailored replenishment samples can effectively compensate for attrition effects. This is already being done for the International Tobacco Control Netherlands Survey, including the categories that significantly predicted attrition in this study.[download PDF]
Caruso, et al. 2016. Differences in cigarette design and metal content across five countries: Results from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project
Objectives: We examined physical cigarette design characteristics and tobacco metal content of cigarettes obtained from 5 countries to determine how these properties vary for cigarette brands, both within and across countries with different dominant manufacturers.
Methods: Cigarette packs were collected from International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey (ITC) participants in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Mauritius, Mexico, and Thailand. Cigarettes were assessed for physical and design properties (eg, ventilation, pressure drop, rod density, weight) by published methods, and for metal content (As, Cd, Ni, Pb) by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.
Results: Statistically significant differences in cigarette design and toxic metal concentrations were observed among countries and among manufacturers within countries. Filter ventilation, which is strongly predictive of machinemeasured tar and nicotine levels, varied most widely across countries. Ni and Cd were highest in Thailand (2.23ug/g and 1.64ug/g, respectively); As was highest in Mexico (0.29ug/g) and Pb was highest in the UK. (0.43 ug/g).
Conclusions: Parties to the FCTC should consider the adoption of uniform product standards related to cigarette design, emissions, and tobacco content that would reduce population health risks.[download PDF]
This study assessed the knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco use among vulnerable populations in Bangladesh and whether vulnerability was associated with the presence of complete home smoking bans. Data came from Wave 3 (2011–2012) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Bangladesh Survey, a nationally-representative survey of 3131 tobacco users and 2147 non-users. Sociodemographic measures of disadvantage were used as proxy measures of vulnerability, including sex, residential location, education and income. Outcome measures were awareness of the harmful effects of (a) cigarette smoking and (b) smokeless tobacco use and (c) whether respondents had complete smoking bans in their homes. Logistic regression was used to examine whether the adjusted prevalence of each outcome differed by socio-demographic proxies of vulnerability. Smaller percentages of women, the illiterate, urban slum residents and low-income Bangladeshis were aware of the health harms of tobacco. These vulnerable groups generally had lower odds of awareness compared to the least disadvantaged groups. Incomplete knowledge of tobacco’s harms may prevent vulnerable groups from taking steps to protect their health. Development goals, such as increasing literacy rates and empowering women, can complement the goals of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.[download PDF]
Background: Social impacts on tobacco use have been reported but not well quantified. This study investigated how strongly the use of smoked and smokeless tobacco may be influenced by other users who are close to the respondents.
Methods: The International Tobacco Control Project (TCP), India, used stratified multistage cluster sampling to survey individuals aged ≥15 years in four areas of India about their tobacco use and that of their close associates. The present study used logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs) for tobacco use for each type of close associate.
Results: Among the 9780 respondents, tobacco use was significantly associated with their close associates’ (father’s, mother’s, friends’, spouse’s) tobacco use in the same form. After adjusting for confounding variables, women smokers were nine times more likely to have a mother who ever smoked (OR: 9.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.3–24.7) and men smokers five times more likely (OR: 5.4; 95% CI: 2.1–14.1) than non-smokers. Men smokers were seven times more likely to have close friends who smoked (OR: 7.2; 95% CI: 5.6–9.3). Users of smokeless tobacco (SLT) were five times more likely to have friends who used SLT (OR: 5.3; 95% CI: 4.4–6.3 [men]; OR: 5.0; 95% CI: 4.3–5.9 [women]) and four times more likely to have a spouse who used SLT (OR: 4.1; 95% CI: 3.0–5.8 [men]; OR: 4.3; 95% CI: 3.6–5.3 [women]), than non-users. The ORs for the association of the individuals’ tobacco use, whether smoked or smokeless, increased with the number of close friends using it in the same form.
Conclusion: The influence of family members and friends on tobacco use needs to be appropriately addressed in tobacco-control interventions.[download PDF]
The aim of this study was to examine the separate and combined relationships of neighborhood social norms and neighborhood social cohesion with smoking behavior in a cohort of adult Mexican smokers. Neighborhood anti-smoking norms were measured as the proportion of residents in each neighborhood who believed that society disapproves of smoking. Perceived social cohesion was measured using a 5- item cohesion scale and aggregated to the neighborhood level. Higher neighborhood anti-smoking norms were associated with less successful quitting. Neighborhood social cohesion modified the relationship between neighborhood social norms and two smoking behaviors: smoking intensity and quit attempts. Residents of neighborhoods with weaker anti-smoking norms and higher social cohesion had lower smoking intensity and more quit attempts than residents living in other areas. Social cohesion may help buffer smoking behavior in areas with weak social norms.[download PDF]
Guindon, et al. 2016. Levels and trends in cigarette contraband in Canada
Background: There is overwhelming evidence that increases in tobacco taxes reduce tobacco use, save lives and increase government tax revenue. High taxes, however, create an incentive to devise ways to avoid or evade tobacco taxes through contraband tobacco. The associated consequences are significant and call for an accurate measurement of contraband's magnitude. However, its illegal nature makes the levels and trends in contraband intrinsically difficult to measure accurately.
Objective: To examine levels and trends in cigarette contraband in Canada.
Methods: We employed 2 approaches: first, we contrasted estimates of tax-paid cigarettes sales with consumption estimates based on survey data; second, we used data from several individual-level surveys that examined smokers' purchasing and use behaviours. We placed a particular emphasis on the provinces of Québec and Ontario because existing research suggests that cigarette contraband levels are far higher than in any other province.
Results: The estimates presented show a clear upward trend from the early 2000s in cigarette contraband in Québec and Ontario followed by, on the whole, a decreasing trend from about 2007 to 2009. None of the data presented provide support to the narrative that cigarette contraband has been increasing in recent years. Of note are Québec estimates which suggest relatively low levels of cigarette contraband since 2010, at levels no higher than in the early 2000s.
Conclusions: The data presented suggest that policies to tackle cigarette contraband introduced from the mid-2000s to late 2000s, at both federal and provincial levels, may have dampened the demand for contraband cigarettes.[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]
Kaai, et al. 2016. Predictors of quit intentions among adult smokers in Mauritius: Findings from the ITC Mauritius Survey
Introduction: Mauritius has one of the highest rates of smoking in Africa. Smoking cessation is a priority for preventing tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study is to identify the predictors of quit intentions among smokers in Mauritius in order to strengthen tobacco control policies and inform the development and delivery of services that may increase the likelihood of successful quitting.
Methods: Data were drawn from one wave (2009) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Mauritius Survey, a face-to-face cohort survey of a nationally representative sample of 598 adult smokers who were randomly selected from nine geographic districts in Mauritius using a multistage sampling procedure.
Results: The vast majority of smokers (77.8%) had plans to quit smoking. Longer duration of past quit attempts (6 months or less), perceiving benefits of quitting, worrying about smoking damaging health in the future, and enjoyment of smoking were significantly associated with quit intentions. However, sociodemographic characteristics, past quit attempts, overall attitude about smoking, and Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI) were not associated with quit intentions.
Conclusions: The predictors of quit intentions among Mauritian smokers were generally similar to those found among smokers in other high- and middle-income countries. However, in contrast to findings in those other countries, nicotine dependence as measured by the HSI was not a significant predictor of quit intentions among Mauritian smokers. These findings highlight the need to consider the predictors of quit intentions when developing and delivering smoking cessation support services in Mauritius.[download PDF]
Gravely, et al. 2015. The impact of the 2009/2010 enhancement of cigarette health warning labels in Uruguay: Longitudinal findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Uruguay Survey [access full article]
Background: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 11 Guidelines recommend that health warning labels (HWLs) should occupy at least 50% of the package, but the tobacco industry claims that increasing the size would not lead to further benefits. This article reports the first population study to examine the impact of increasing HWL size above 50%. We tested the hypothesis that the 2009/2010 enhancement of the HWLs in Uruguay would be associated with higher levels of effectiveness.
Methods: Data were drawn from a cohort of adult smokers (≥18 years) participating in the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Uruguay Survey. The probability sample cohort was representative of adult smokers in five cities. The surveys included key indicators of HWL effectiveness. Data were collected in 2008/09 (prepolicy: wave 2) and 2010/11 (postpolicy: wave 3).
Results: Overall, 1746 smokers participated in the study at wave 2 (n=1379) and wave 3 (n=1411). Following the 2009/2010 HWL changes in Uruguay (from 50% to 80% in size), all indicators of HWL effectiveness increased significantly (noticing HWLs: OR=1.44, p=0.015; reading HWLs: OR=1.42, p=0.002; impact of HWLs on thinking about risks of smoking: OR=1.66, p<0.001; HWLs increasing thinking about quitting: OR=1.76, p<0.001; avoiding looking at the HWLs: OR=2.35, p<0.001; and reports that HWLs stopped smokers from having a cigarette ‘many times’: OR=3.42, p<0.001).
Conclusions: The 2009/2010 changes to HWLs in Uruguay, including a substantial increment in size, led to increases of key HWL indicators, thus supporting the conclusion that enhancing HWLs beyond minimum guideline recommendations can lead to even higher levels of effectiveness.[download PDF]
Quisenberry, et al. 2015. The experimental tobacco marketplace: Substitutability as a function of the price of conventional cigarettes [access full article]
Introduction: Behavioral economic studies of nicotine product consumption have traditionally examined substitution between two products and rarely examined substitution with more products. Increasing numbers of tobacco products available for commercial sale leads to more possible cross-product interactions, indicating a need to examine substitution in more complex arrangements that closely mirror the tobacco marketplace.
Methods: The experimental tobacco marketplace (ETM) is an experimental online store that displays pictures, information, and prices for several tobacco products. Smokers were endowed with an account balance based on their weekly tobacco purchases. Participants then made potentially real purchases for seven (Experiment 1) or six (Experiment 2) tobacco/nicotine products under four price conditions for conventional cigarettes while prices for other products remained constant. Smokers returned 1 week later to report tobacco/nicotine use and return unused products for a refund.
Results: In Experiment 1 (n = 22), cigarette purchasing decreased as a function of price. Substitution was greatest for electronic cigarettes and cigarillos and significant for electronic cigarettes. Experiment 2 (n = 34) was a replication of Experiment 1, but with cigarillos unavailable in the ETM. In Experiment 2, cigarette purchases decreased as a function of price. Substitution was robust and significant for electronic cigarettes and Camel Snus.
Conclusions: The ETM is a novel, practical assay that mimics the real-world marketplace, and functions as a simple research tool for both researchers and participants. Across the two experiments the product mix in the ETM altered which products functioned as substitutes suggesting complex interactions between purchasing and product availability.[download PDF]
Yong, et al. 2015. Trends in e-cigarettes awareness, trial, and use under the different regulatory environments of Australia and the UK [access full article]
Introduction: E-cigarettes (ECs) have gained significant attention in recent years. They have been introduced in jurisdictions with divergent existing laws that affect their legality. This provides the opportunity for natural experiments to assess effects of such laws in some cases independent of any formulated government policy. We compare patterns of EC awareness and use over a three year period in Australia where laws severely restrict EC availability, with awareness and use in the UK where ECs are readily available.
Methods: Data analysed come from Waves 8 and 9 (collected in 2010 and 2013, respectively) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) surveys in Australia and the UK (approximately 1500 respondents per wave per country).
Results: Across both waves, EC awareness, trial, and use among current and former smokers was significantly greater in the UK than in Australia, but all three of these measures increased significantly between 2010 and 2013 in both countries, and the rate of increase was equivalent between countries. 73% of UK respondents reported that their current brands contained nicotine as did 43% in Australia even though sale, possession and/or use of nicotine-containing ECs without a permit is illegal in Australia. EC use was greater among smokers in both countries, at least in part due to less uptake by ex-smokers.
Conclusions: EC awareness and use have risen rapidly between 2010 and 2013 among current and former smokers in both Australia and the UK despite different EC regulatory environments. Substantial numbers in both countries are using ECs that contain nicotine.[download PDF]
Hummel, et al. 2015. Trends and socioeconomic differences in policy triggers for thinking about quitting smoking: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: The aim of the current study is to investigate trends and socioeconomic differences in policy triggers for thinking about quitting in six European countries.
Methods: Data were derived from all available survey waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys (2003-2013). France conducted three survey waves (n=1420-1735), Germany three waves (n=515-1515), The Netherlands seven waves (n=1420-1668), Ireland three waves (n=582-1071), Scotland two waves (n=461-507), and the rest of the United Kingdom conducted seven survey waves (n=861-1737). Smokers were asked whether four different policies (cigarette price, smoking restrictions in public places, free or lower cost medication, and warning labels on cigarette packs) influenced them to think about quitting. Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) models were estimated for each country.
Results: Cigarette price was mentioned most often in all countries and across all waves as trigger for thinking about quitting. Mentioning cigarette price and warning labels increased after the implementation of price increases and warning labels in some countries, while mentioning smoking restrictions decreased after their implementation in four countries. All studied policy triggers were mentioned more often by smokers with low and/or moderate education and income than smokers with high education and income. The education and income differences did not change significantly over time for most policies and in most countries.
Conclusions: Tobacco control policies work as a trigger to increase thoughts about quitting, particularly in smokers with low education and low income and therefore have the potential to reduce health inequalities in smoking.[download PDF]
Jampaklay, et al. 2015. Predictors of successful quitting among Thai adult smokers: Findings from ITC-SEA (Thailand) Survey [access full article]
This study uses longitudinal data from the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia (ITC-SEA Thailand) survey to explore patterns and predictors of successful quitting among Thai adult smokers as a function of time quit. A cohort of a representative sample of 2000 smokers was surveyed four times from 2005 to 2009. A sample of 1533 individuals provided data for at least one of the reported analyses. Over the four years of follow-up, 97% made attempts to quit. Outcomes were successful quitting/relapse: (a) quit attempts of at least one month (short-term relapse, 43%) (57% remaining quit); (b) surviving at least six months (medium-term) (31%); (c) relapse between one and six months (45%); (d) having continuously quit between Waves 3 and 4 (sustained abstinence) (14%); and (e) relapse from six months on (44%) compared to those who continuously quit between Waves 3 and 4 (56%). Predictors for early relapse (<1 month) differ from longer-term relapse. Age was associated with reduced relapse over all three periods, and was much stronger for longer periods of abstinence. Cigarette consumption predicted relapse for short and medium terms. Self-assessed addiction was predictive of early relapse, but reversed to predict abstinence beyond six months. Previous quit history of more than one week was predictive of early abstinence, but became unrelated subsequently. Self-efficacy was strongly predictive of abstinence in the first month but was associated with relapse thereafter. Some determinants of relapse change with time quit, but this may be in somewhat different to patterns found in the West.[download PDF]
Li, et al. 2015. Impact of point-of-sale tobacco display bans in Thailand: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Southeast Asia Survey [access full article]
In September 2005 Thailand became the first Asian country to implement a complete ban on the display of cigarettes and other tobacco products at point-of-sale (POS). This paper examined the impact of the POS tobacco display ban in Thailand, with Malaysia (which did not impose bans) serving as a comparison. The data came from the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia Survey (2005–2011), a prospective cohort survey designed to evaluate the psychosocial and behavioral impacts of tobacco control policies. Main measures included smokers’ reported awareness of tobacco displays and advertising at POS. At the first post-ban survey wave over 90% of smokers in Thailand were aware of the display ban policy and supported it, and about three quarters thought the ban was effective. Noticing tobacco displays in stores was lowest (16.9%) at the first post-ban survey wave, but increased at later survey waves; however, the levels were consistently lower than those in Malaysia. Similarly, exposure to POS tobacco advertising was lower in Thailand. The display ban has reduced exposure to tobacco marketing at POS. The trend toward increased noticing is likely at least in part due to some increase in violations of the display bans and/or strategies to circumvent them.[download PDF]
Thomas, et al. 2015. Research methods of 'Talking about the Smokes': An International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians [access full article]
Objective: To describe the research methods and baseline sample of the Talking About The Smokes (TATS) project.
Design: The TATS project is a collaboration between research institutions and Aboriginal community-controlled health services (ACCHSs) and their state and national representative bodies. It is one of the studies within the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, enabling national and international comparisons. It includes a prospective longitudinal study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers and recent ex-smokers; a survey of non-smokers; repeated cross-sectional surveys of ACCHS staff; and descriptions of the tobacco policies and practices at the ACCHSs. Community members completed face-to-face surveys; staff completed surveys on paper or online. We compared potential biases and the distribution of variables common to the main community baseline sample and unweighted and weighted results of the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS). The baseline survey (Wave 1) was conducted between April 2012 and October 2013.
Setting and participants: 2522 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 35 locations (the communities served by 34 ACCHSs and one community in the Torres Strait), and 645 staff in the ACCHSs.
Main outcome measures: Sociodemographic and general health indicators, smoking status, number of cigarettes smoked per day and quit attempts.
Results: The main community baseline sample closely matched the distribution of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the weighted NATSISS by age, sex, jurisdiction and remoteness. There were inconsistent differences in some sociodemographic factors between our sample and the NATSISS: our sample had higher proportions of unemployed people, but also higher proportions who had completed Year 12 and who lived in more advantaged areas. In both surveys, similar percentages of smokers reported having attempted to quit in the past year, and daily smokers reported similar numbers of cigarettes smoked per day.
Conclusion: The TATS project provides a detailed and nationally representative description of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking behaviour, attitudes, knowledge and exposure to tobacco control activities and policies, and their association with quitting.[download PDF]
Smith, et al. 2015. Gender differences in mediation use and cigarette smoking cessation: Results from the ITC Four Country Survey [access full article]
Introduction: There is conflicting evidence for gender differences in smoking cessation, and there has been little research on gender differences in smoking cessation medication (SCM) use and effectiveness. Using longitudinal data from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Surveys (ITC-4) conducted in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia, we examined gender differences in the incidence of quit attempts, reasons for quitting, use of SCMs, reasons for discontinuing use of SCMs, and rates of smoking cessation.
Methods: Data were analyzed from adult smokers participating in the ITC-4, annual waves 2006-2011 (n = 7,825), as well as a subsample of smokers (n = 1,079) who made quit attempts within 2 months of survey. Adjusted modeling utilized generalized estimating equations.
Results: There were no gender differences in the likelihood of desire to quit, plans to quit, or quit attempts between survey waves. Among quit attempters, women had 31% lower odds of successfully quitting (OR = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.51, 0.94). Stratified by medication use, quit success was lower among women who did not use any SCMs (OR = 0.59; 95% CI = 0.39, 0.90), and it was no different from men when medications were used (OR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.46, 1.16). In particular, self-selected use of nicotine patch and varenicline contributed to successful quitting among women.
Conclusions: Women may have more difficulty quitting than men, and SCMs use may help attenuate this difference.[download PDF]
Brown, et al. 2015. Trends and socioeconomic differences in roll-your-own tobacco use: Findings from the ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Objectives: To examine if exclusive Roll-Your-Own (RYO) tobacco use relative to factory-made (FM) cigarette use has been rising over time, to determine the extent to which economic motives and perceptions that RYO cigarettes are less harmful act as primary motivations for use, and to examine the association of income and education with the level of RYO tobacco use among smokers in four European countries.
Methods: Data were obtained from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Europe Surveys, and a cohort sample of 7070 smokers from the Netherlands, Germany, France and UK were interviewed between June 2006 and December 2012. Generalised estimating equations (GEE) were used to assess trends in RYO use, and whether RYO consumption varied by socioeconomic variables.
Results: Exclusive RYO use over the study period has increased significantly in the UK from 26.4% in 2007 to 32.7% in 2010 (p<0.001); France from 12.2% in 2006 to 19.1% in 2012 (p<0.001); and Germany from 12.7% in 2007 to 18.6% in 2011 (p=0.031), with increased borderline significantly in the Netherlands (31.7% to 34.3%, p=0.052), from 2008 to 2010. Over three-quarters of users in each of the study countries indicated that lower price was a reason why they smoked RYO. Just over a fourth of smokers in the UK, less than a fifth in France, and around a tenth in Germany and the Netherlands believed that RYO is healthier. Compared with exclusive FM users, exclusive RYO users were more likely to have lower incomes and lower education.
Conclusions: Effective tobacco tax regulation is needed in the European Union and elsewhere to eliminate or reduce the price advantage of RYO tobacco. Additional health messages are also required to correct the misperception that RYO tobacco is healthier than FM cigarettes.[download PDF]
Nicholson, et al. 2015. Predictors of wanting to quit in a national sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers [access full article]
Objective: To describe factors that predict wanting to quit smoking in a national sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Design, Setting and Participants: The Talking About The Smokes (TATS) project used a quota sampling design to recruit participants from communities served by 34 Aboriginal community-controlled health services and one community in the Torres Strait. Baseline survey data were collected from 1643 current smokers between April 2012 and October 2013.
Main Outcome Measure: Wanting to quit smoking.
Results: More than two-thirds of smokers (70%) said they want to quit. Many factors were associated with wanting to quit, including past quitting activity. Interest in quitting was lower among men and smokers from economically disadvantaged areas, but there was no difference by age, remoteness or other measures of economic disadvantage. Attitudes and beliefs negatively associated with wanting to quit included enjoying smoking and believing quitting to be very difficult, and those positively associated included regretting ever starting to smoke, perceiving that local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders disapprove of smoking, believing non-smokers set a good example to children, worrying about future smoking-related health effects and believing quitting to be beneficial. Reporting support from family and friends was predictive of wanting to quit, but factors related to smoking in the social network were not. Associations with health and wellbeing were mixed. While most tobacco control policy exposure variables were positively associated with wanting to quit, two - receiving advice to quit from a health professional, and recall of targeted anti-tobacco advertising - appeared to have an effect that extended beyond influencing relevant attitudes and beliefs.
Conclusion: Interest in quitting among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers appears to be influenced by a broad range of factors, highlighting the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to tobacco control. Advice from health professionals and targeted advertising appear to be important intervention strategies.[download PDF]
Im, et al. 2015. Individual and interpersonal triggers to quit smoking in China: A cross-sectional analysis [access full article]
Aims: To determine the most prominent individual and interpersonal triggers to quit smoking in China and their associations with sociodemographic characteristics.
Methods: Data come from Waves 1-3 (2006-2009) of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey, analysed cross-sectionally as person-waves (N=14 358). Measures included sociodemographic and smoking characteristics. Those who quit between waves (4.3%) were asked about triggers that 'very much' led them to stop smoking, and continuing smokers about triggers that 'very much' made them think about quitting. Triggers covered individual (personal health concerns, cigarette price, smoking restrictions, advertisements, warning labels) and interpersonal factors (family/societal disapproval of smoking, setting an example to children, concerns about secondhand smoke).
Results: Over a third of respondents (34.9%) endorsed at least one trigger strongly; quitters were more likely than smokers to mention any trigger. While similar proportions of smokers endorsed individual (24.4%) and interpersonal triggers (24.0%), quitters endorsed more individual (61.1%) than interpersonal (48.3%) triggers. However, the most common triggers (personal health concerns; setting an example to children) were the same, endorsed by two-thirds of quitters and a quarter of smokers, as were the least common triggers (warning labels; cigarette price), endorsed by 1 in 10 quitters and 1 in 20 smokers. Lower dependence among smokers and greater education among all respondents were associated with endorsing any trigger.
Conclusions: Individual rather than interpersonal triggers appear more important for quitters. Major opportunities to motivate quit attempts are missed in China, particularly with regard to taxation and risk communication. Interventions need to focus on more dependent and less-educated smokers.[download PDF]
Li, et al. 2015. The heterogeneous effects of cigarette prices on brand choice in China: Implications for tobacco control policy [access full article]
Background: China has long kept its tobacco taxes below international standards. The Chinese government has cited two rationales against raising tobacco tax, namely, the unfair burden it places on low-income smokers and the ability of consumers to switch to cheaper brands.
Objective: This study examines how different socioeconomic subgroups of Chinese smokers switch brands in response to cigarette price changes.
Methods: We model smokers' choice of cigarette tier as a function of tier-specific prices. We examine heterogeneous responses to prices by estimating mixed logit models for different income and education subgroups that allow for random variation in smokers' preferences. We use data from three waves of the longitudinal International Tobacco Control China Survey, collected in six large Chinese cities between 2006 and 2009.
Findings: Low-income and less educated smokers are considerably more likely to switch tiers (including both up-trading and down-trading) than are their high-socioeconomic status (SES) counterparts. For those in the second-to-lowest tier, a ¥1 ($0.16, or roughly 25%) rise in prices increases the likelihood of switching tiers by 5.6% points for low-income smokers and 7.2% points for less educated smokers, compared to 1.6% and 3.0% points for the corresponding high-SES groups. Low-income and less educated groups are also more likely to trade down compared to their high-SES counterparts.
Conclusions: Only a small percentage of low-income and less educated Chinese smokers switched to cheaper brands in response to price increases. Hence, the concern of the Chinese government that a cigarette tax increase will lead to large-scale brand switching is not supported by this study.[download PDF]