Scientific Journal Articles
Showing 126-150 of 605 Results
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]
Nargis, et al. 2019. A decade of cigarette taxation in Bangladesh: Lessons learnt for tobacco control policy and practice [access full article]
Bangladesh has achieved a high share of tax in the price of cigarettes (greater than the 75% benchmark), but has not achieved the expected health benefits from reduction in cigarette consumption. In this paper we explore why cigarette taxation has not succeeded in reducing cigarette smoking in Bangladesh. Using government records over 2006–2017, we link trends in tax-paid cigarette sales to cigarette excise tax structure and changes in cigarette taxes and prices. We analysed data on smoking prevalence from Bangladesh Global Adult Tobacco Surveys to study consumption of different tobacco products in 2009 and 2017. Drawing on annual reports from tobacco manufacturers and other literature, we examine demand- and supply-side factors in the cigarette market. In addition to a growing affordability of cigarettes, three factors appear to have undermined the effectiveness of tax and price increases in reducing cigarette consumption in Bangladesh. First, the multitiered excise tax structure widened the price differential between brands and incentivized downward substitution by smokers from higher-price to lower-price cigarettes. Second, income growth and shifting preferences of smokers for better quality products encouraged upward substitution from hand-rolled local cigarettes (bidi) to machine-made low-price cigarettes. Third, the tobacco industry’s market expansion and differential pricing strategy changed the relative price to keep low-price cigarettes inexpensive. A high tax share alone may prove inadequate as a barometer of effective tobacco taxation in lower-middle income countries, particularly where the tobacco tax structure is complex, tobacco products prices are relatively low, and the affordability of tobacco products is increasing.[download PDF]
Introduction and Aims: Health behaviours, such as smoking and quitting, spread person-to-person through social networks. We explore how social networks are associated with making and sustaining quit attempts for at least 1 month among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers.
Design and Methods: We analysed data from the nationally representative quota sample of 759 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who reported smoking at least weekly in Talking About The Smokes baseline survey (April 2012-October 2013) who completed a follow-up survey a year later (August 2013-August 2014).
Results: At baseline, 41% of smokers reported that all of their five closest family or friends smoked, but 62% reported that family or friends had provided encouragement to quit. Fewer smokers with other adult smokers in their household at baseline made a quit attempt between surveys (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.45- 0.87). Fewer smokers who had made an attempt between surveys sustained abstinence for at least 1 month if all of their five closest friends smoked (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.37-0.97). Perceived support to quit in your social network was associated with making and sustaining a quit attempt.
Discussion and Conclusions: Exposure to smoking in the social networks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers is an obstacle to quitting, but there is also considerable support for quitting from within these same social networks. Health staff could consider encouraging smokers to draw on the few non-smokers within their social networks as role models to increase their confidence in quitting.[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]
Policies that promote the social unacceptability of smoking may also result in smoking-related stigma. The aim of this study is to evaluate how norms against smoking and socioeconomic status (SES) are associated with stigma among smokers. We used data from a panel of adult smokers who participated in the 2008–2012 administrations of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey in Mexico (n = 6670 observations) and Uruguay (n = 3296 observations). Generalized estimating equations were used to account for correlations in the outcomes over time within individuals. We evaluated if injunctive smoking norms (i.e. significant other norms and societal norms), descriptive smoking norms (i.e. number of smoking friends), and two markers of SES (i.e. education and income) were associated with different aspects of smoking-related stigma (i.e. feeling uncomfortable, negative stereotype of smokers, and perceived marginalization). We found that stronger anti-smoking injunctive norms were associated with higher levels of all indicators of perceived stigma in Mexico and Uruguay. Having fewer smoking friends was associated with feeling uncomfortable and perceived marginalization in Mexico. Higher income and education were associated with a stronger negative stereotype of smokers in Mexico. Lower income and education were associated with a stronger negative stereotype of smokers in Uruguay. Study results suggest that factors that drive the social unacceptability of tobacco may stigmatize smokers, although further research is needed to determine whether policy-promoted stigmatization produces undesirable outcomes (e.g. lower cessation rates).[download PDF]
Fleischer, et al. 2019. Disentangling the roles of point-of-sale bans, tobacco retailer density and proximity on cessation and relapse among a cohort of smokers: findings from ITC Canada Survey
Objective: To examine how point-of-sale (POS) display bans, tobacco retailer density and tobacco retailer proximity were associated with smoking cessation and relapse in a cohort of smokers in Canada, where provincial POS bans were implemented differentially over time from 2004 to 2010.
Methods: Data from the 2005 to 2011 administrations of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Canada Survey, a nationally representative cohort of adult smokers, were linked via residential geocoding with tobacco retailer data to derive for each smoker a measure of retailer density and proximity. An indicator variable identified whether the smoker’s province banned POS displays at the time of the interview. Outcomes included cessation for at least 1 month at follow-up among smokers from the previous wave and relapse at follow-up among smokers who had quit at the previous wave. Logistic generalised estimating equation models were used to determine the relationship between living in a province with a POS display ban, tobacco retailer density and tobacco retailer proximity with cessation (n=4388) and relapse (n=866).
Results: Provincial POS display bans were not associated with cessation. In adjusted models, POS display bans were associated with lower odds of relapse which strengthened after adjusting for retailer density and proximity, although results were not statistically significant (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.41 to 1.07, p=0.089). Neither tobacco retailer density nor proximity was associated with cessation or relapse.
Conclusions: Banning POS retail displays shows promise as an additional tool to prevent relapse, although these results need to be confirmed in larger longitudinal studies.[download PDF]
Huq, et al. 2019. The impact of income and taxation in a price-tiered cigarette market: findings from the ITC Bangladesh Surveys [access full article]
Background: Taxing tobacco is among the most effective measures of tobacco control. However, in a tiered market structure where multiple tiers of taxes coexist, the anticipated impact of tobacco taxes on consumption is complex. This paper investigates changing smoking behaviour in lieu of changing prices and changing income. The objective of the paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of change in prices (through taxes) and change in income in a price-tiered cigarette market.
Method: A panel dataset from the International Tobacco Control Bangladesh surveys is used for analysis. For preliminary analysis transition matrices are developed. Next, probit and multinomial logit regression models are used to identify the effects of changes in prices and changes in income along with other control variables.
Findings: Transition matrices show significant movement of smokers across price tiers from one wave to another. Regression results show that higher income raises the probability to up-trade and decreases the probability to down-trade. Results also show that higher prices raises the probability to up-trade and reduces the probability to down-trade. Although not significant, there exists a negative relationship between the probability to down-trade and the probability to intend to quit.
Conclusion: It is evident from the results that a price-tiered market provides smokers more opportunities to accommodate their smoking behaviour when faced with price and income change. Therefore, tiered structure of the tax system should be replaced with uniform taxes. Moreover, overall cigarette taxes need to be raised to an extent so that it off-sets any positive effects of income growth.[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]
Chyderiotis, et al. 2019. How to reduce biases coming from a before and after design: the impact of the 2007-2008 French smoking ban policy [access full article]
Background: Smoke-free laws aim at protecting against second-hand smoke and at contributing to change smoking behaviors. Impact evaluation studies can help understand to what extent they reach their goals. Simple before and after designs are often used but cannot isolate the effect of the policy of interest.
Methods: The short-term impact of the French smoking ban (2007-08) on smoking behavior outcomes was evaluated among smokers with data from the ITC project. We first conducted a before and after design on the French sample. Second, we added the UK (excluding Scotland) as a control group and finally used external pre-policy data from national surveys to control for bias arising from pre-policy trends.
Results: After one year post-implementation, the smoking ban led to a decrease in seeing people smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces [estimated risk ratios (RR) of 8.81 IC95% (5.34-14.71), 2.02 (1.79-2.31) and 1.24 (1.16-1.33), respectively], as well as an increase in support for the smoke-free policy, but only in bars and restaurants [RR of 1.35 (1.15-1.61) and 1.25 (1.16-1.35)], respectively. No impact was found on smoking behaviors and on having a strict no smoking policy at home. The simple before and after design systematically overestimated the smoking ban's impact [e.g. RR of 29.9 (20.06- 44.56) for observed smoking in bar, compared to 13.21 (7.78-22.42) with the control group, and 8.81 (5.34-14.71) with the correction from external data].
Conclusion: When data are lacking to conduct quasi-experimental designs for impact evaluation, the use of external data could help understand and correct pre-policy trends.[download PDF]
Tigova, et al. 2019. Secondhand exposure to e-cigarette aerosols among smokers: a cross-sectional study in six European countries of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Survey [access full article]
Introduction: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has grown significantly in some European Union (EU) Member States (MS). A better understanding of the exposure to secondhand e-cigarette aerosols (SHA) is necessary to develop and implement comprehensive regulations on e-cigarette use in public places. This study aims to assess the observation of e-cigarette use in public places, the self-reported exposure to SHA, and the level of users’ comfort using e-cigarettes in the presence of others.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of the Wave 1 International Tobacco Control 6 European Countries Survey recruiting adult smokers (n=6011) across six EU MS: Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Spain, within the EURESTPLUS Project. A descriptive analysis was conducted to estimate the prevalence (%) of observed e-cigarette use in different places, frequency of self-reported exposure to SHA, and level of comfort using e-cigarettes in the presence of others.
Results: In all, 31.0% of smokers observed others using e-cigarette in public places, 19.7% in indoor places where smoking is banned, and 14.5% indoors at work. Almost 37% of smokers reported to be ever exposed to SHA, ranging from 17.7% in Spain to 63.3% in Greece. The higher prevalence of observed ecigarette use and passive exposure to SHA was reported by smokers of younger age, of higher educational level and those being current or former e-cigarette users. Part (8.8%) of the smokers who were also e-cigarette users reported feeling uncomfortable using e-cigarettes in the presence of others.
Conclusions: A third of smokers from six EU MS reported being exposed to SHA. Prevalence differences were observed among the countries. In the context of scarce evidence on long-term health effects of exposure to SHA, precautionary regulations protecting bystanders from involuntary exposure should be developed.[download PDF]
Nogueira, et al. 2019. Cigarette brand loyalty among smokers in six European countries: Findings from the EUREST-PLUS ITC Survey [access full article]
Introduction: This study aims to describe the degree of smokers’ loyalty to a specific brand of tobacco products and the variables related to choosing a specific brand among smokers in six European countries.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted for a representative sample of adult smokers from Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Spain (approximately 1000 smokers per country). The prevalence of smokers’ having a usual brand of cigarettes smoked (factory-made or roll-yourown cigarettes), the brand of choice, the factors for choosing a specific brand and the degree of loyalty to that brand (not at all, a little, somewhat and a lot) were assessed by country, sociodemographics and smoking-related variables.
Results: In total, 86.6% of the smokers reported having a usual brand. In three out of the six countries, one brand holds the loyalty of between 17.8% and 24.5% of the smokers that reported having a usual brand for factory-made cigarettes. Most participants reported being loyal ‘a lot’ to their brand of choice (44.4%). The reasons most reported for choosing a cigarette brand were the taste (83.2%) and the price (51.7%).
Conclusions: Brand loyalty is high among factory-made and roll-your-own cigarette smokers in six European countries. Future research on longitudinal trends of brand loyalty to evaluate the effect of tobacco control policies in these European countries is warranted.[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]
Fu, et al. 2019. Correlates of the support for smoke-free policies among smokers: A cross-sectional study in six European countries of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: This report describes the support for smoke-free policies in different settings among smokers in six European countries and the relationship between their opinions about the places where smoking should be banned and their beliefs about the harms of secondhand smoke to non-smokers.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey (the ITC 6 European Country Survey, part of the EUREST-PLUS Project) was conducted using nationally representative samples of adult smokers in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spain (n=6011). We describe the prevalence of agreement and support for smoke-free policies in different settings according to sociodemographics, smoking characteristics and beliefs about the danger of secondhand smoke to non-smokers.
Results: There was high agreement with smoking regulations in cars with preschool children and in schoolyards of primary/secondary schools (>90% overall) and low agreement with banning smoking in outdoor terraces of bars/pubs (8.6%; 95%CI: 7.5%-9.8%) and restaurants (10.1%; 95%CI: 8.9%-11.4%). The highest support for complete smoking bans inside public places came from smokers in Poland, among women, people aged ≥25 years, who had low nicotine dependence, and who tried to quit smoking in the last 12 months. About 78% of participants agreed that tobacco smoke is dangerous to nonsmokers, ranging from 63.1% in Hungary to 88.3% in Romania; the highest agreement was noted among women, the 25-54 age groups, those with higher education, low cigarette dependence, and those who tried to quit in the last 12 months. The support for complete smoking bans in public places was consistently higher among smokers who agreed that secondhand smoke is dangerous to non-smokers.
Conclusions: Smokers in six European countries declared strong support for smoke-free policies in indoor settings and in settings with minors but low support in outdoor settings, particularly leisure facilities. More education is needed to increase the awareness about the potential exposure to secondhand smoke in specific outdoor areas.[download PDF]
Fu, et al. 2019. Smoking in public places in six European countries: Findings from the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: Surveillance of tobacco consumption in public places is an important measure to evaluate the impact of tobacco control interventions over time. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of smoking as seen by smokers and their smoking behaviour in public places, in six European countries.
Methods: We used baseline data of the International Tobacco Control Six European countries (ITC 6E) Survey, part of the EUREST-PLUS Project, conducted in 2016 in national representative samples of about 1000 adult smokers aged 18 years and older in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spain. For each setting (workplaces, restaurants, bars/pubs and discos) participants were asked whether they had seen someone smoking during their last visit there and whether they too had smoked there. We report the overall and by-country weighted prevalence of seeing someone smoking and the smokers’ own smoking behaviour at each setting. We also assess the relationship between seeing someone smoking and smoking themselves at these settings.
Results: The prevalence of smoking as seen by smokers was 18.8% at workplaces, with high variability among countries (from 4.7% in Hungary to 40.8% in Greece). Among smokers visiting leisure facilities in the last year, during their last visit 22.7% had seen someone smoking inside restaurants and 12.2% had smoked themselves there, while for bars/pubs the corresponding prevalences were 33.9% and 20.4%, and inside discos 44.8% and 34.8%.
Conclusions: Smoking is still prevalent at leisure facilities, particularly at discos in Europe, with high variability among countries. More extensive awareness campaigns and stricter enforcement are needed to increase the compliance of smokefree regulations, especially in leisure facilities.[download PDF]
Nargis, et al. 2019. Cigarette affordability in China, 2006-2015: Findings from ITC China Surveys [access full article]
China is world’s largest market of machine-made cigarettes. In 2015, more than 315 million or around 26.9% of the adult population in China were smokers—50.6% among men and 2.2% among women. Growing affordability of cigarettes led to increased cigarette consumption in China to the detriment of public health. This study investigated whether the level and growth in cigarette affordability in China was equally shared by smokers from all demographic and socio-economic statuses (SES) and across all price tiers of cigarette brands. The data came from the urban smoker sample (≥18 years) of the International Tobacco Control China Surveys conducted in five waves over 2006–2015. Cigarette affordability was measured by Relative Income Price—percentage of per capita household income needed to purchase 100 cigarette packs of the last purchased brand. Overall and group-specific trends in affordability by age, gender, SES (e.g., income, education, and employment status), and price tiers were analyzed using generalized estimating equations method. Cigarette affordability was higher among older, female, and higher-SES smokers, and for cheaper brands. It increased overall and across all groups over time. The increase was significantly larger among younger and lower-SES smokers, a trend that poses an added challenge to tobacco control and health equity. To reduce cigarette affordability and consumption among these vulnerable groups, a uniform specific excise system should be introduced in place of the existing tiered ad valorem excise. The specific excise should be periodically adjusted to inflation and per capita income growth observed among younger and lower-SES people, who can potentially experience faster income growth than the national average. The excise tax policy can also be complimented with minimum price regulations and restrictions on price promotions.[download PDF]
Green, et al. 2019. Impact of adding and removing warning labels messages from cigarette packages on adult smokers' awareness about the health harms of smoking: Findings from the ITC Canada Survey [access full article]
Introduction: Adding messages to cigarette health warning labels (HWLs) about the harms of smoking increases awareness of these health facts, but little is known about the impact of removing messages. This is the first study to directly investigate the impact of adding and removing messages from cigarette HWLs on smokers’ awareness of harms.
Methods: Data were drawn from nine waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Canada Survey, a national representative cohort of adult smokers (n=5863) conducted nearly annually between 2002 and 2013–2014. Two analytical approaches were conducted: generalised estimating equation (GEE) regression models estimated adjusted percentages of correct smoking-related health statements at each wave and segmented regression analyses modelled temporal trends in awareness before and after the revisions by measuring the difference in slopes.
Results: Adding messages to HWLs significantly increased awareness that smoking causes blindness (OR=3.36 (95% CI 2.71 to 4.18); p<0.001; estimated increase of 1.01 million smokers in Canada) and bladder cancer (OR=2.14 (95% CI 1.71 to 2.66), p<0.001; estimated increase of 1.09 million smokers). Adding the warning that nicotine causes addiction did not significantly impact smokers’ awareness. Removing messages was shown to decrease awareness that cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide (OR=0.53 (95% CI 0.41 to 0.70), p<0.001; estimated decrease of 342 000 smokers) and smoking causes impotence (p=0.007 for the difference in slopes; estimated decrease of 354 000 smokers).
Conclusions: Adding messages to HWLs increases smokers’ awareness of health facts, but removing messages decreases awareness. These findings demonstrate the importance of carefully considering the implications of adding and especially removing messages from HWLs and the importance of regularly revising warnings.[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]
Gravely, et al. 2018. Discussions between health professionals and smokers about nicotine vaping products: Results from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Background and Aims: Debate exists about whether health professionals (HPs) should advise smokers to use nicotine vaping products (NVPs) to quit smoking. The objectives were to examine in four countries: (1) the prevalence of HP discussions and recommendations to use an NVP; (2) who initiated NVP discussions; (3) the type of HP advice received about NVPs; and (4) smoker's characteristics related to receiving advice about NVPs.
Design: Cross‐sectional study using multivariable logistic regression analyses on weighted data from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey (ITC 4CV1).
Setting: Four countries with varying regulations governing the sale and marketing of NVPs: ‘most restrictive’ (Australia), ‘restrictive’ (Canada) or ‘less restrictive’ (England and United States).
Participants: A total of 6615 adult smokers who reported having visited an HP in the last year (drawn from the total sample of 12 294 4CV1 respondents, of whom 9398 reported smoking cigarettes daily or weekly). Respondents were from the United States (n = 1518), England (n = 2116), Australia (n = 1046), and Canada (n = 1935).
Measurements: Participants’ survey responses indicated if they were current daily or weekly smokers and had visited an HP in the past year. Among those participants, further questions asked participants to report (1) whether NVPs were discussed, (2) who raised the topic, (3) advice received on use of NVPs and (4) advice received on quitting smoking.
Findings: Among the 6615 smokers who visited an HP in the last year, 6.8% reported discussing NVPs with an HP and 2.1% of smokers were encouraged to use an NVP (36.1% of those who had a discussion). Compared with Australia (4.3%), discussing NVPs with an HP was more likely in the United States [8.8%, odds ratio (OR) = 2.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.41–3.29] and Canada (7.8%, OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.26–2.78). Smokers in Australia were less likely to discuss NVPs than smokers in England (6.2%), although this was not statistically significant (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 0.98–2.20). Overall, the prevalence of HPs recommending NVPs was three times more likely in the United States than in Australia (OR = 3.07, 95% CI = 1.45–6.47), and twice as likely in Canada (OR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.06–4.87) than in Australia. Australia and England did not differ (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 0.83–3.74). Just over half (54%) of respondents brought up NVPs themselves; there were no significant differences among countries.
Conclusions: Discussions in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States between smokers and health professionals about nicotine vaping products appear to be infrequent, regardless of the regulatory environment. A low percentage of health professionals recommended vaping products. This was particularly evident in Australia, which has the most restrictive regulatory environment of the four countries studied.[download PDF]
Thompson, et al. 2018. Methods of the ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey, Wave 1 (2016) [access full article]
Aim: To describe the methods of the 2016 International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Smoking and Vaping (4CV) Survey, conducted in 2016 in Australia (AU), Canada (CA), England (EN) and the United States (US).
Methods: The respondents were cigarette smokers, former smokers (quit within the previous 2 years), and at‐least‐weekly vapers, aged 18 years and older. Eligible cohort members from the ITC Four Country Survey (4C) were retained. New respondents were sampled by commercial firms from their panels. Where possible, ages 18–24 and vapers were oversampled. Data were collected online, and respondents were remunerated. Survey weights were calibrated to benchmarks from nationally representative surveys.
Results: Response rates by country for new recruits once invited ranged from 15.2 to 49.6%. Sample sizes for smokers/former smokers were 1504 in AU, 3006 in CA, 3773 in EN and 2239 in the US. Sample sizes for additional vapers were 727 in CA, 551 in EN and 494 in the US.
Conclusion: The International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey design and data collection methods allow analyses to examine prospectively the use of cigarettes and nicotine vaping products in jurisdictions with different regulatory policies. The effects on the sampling designs and response quality of recruiting the respondents from commercial panels are mitigated by the use of demographic and geographic quotas in sampling; by quality control measures; and by the construction of survey weights taking into account smoking/vaping status, sex, age, education and geography.[download PDF]
Levy, et al. 2018. A modeling approach to gauging the effects of nicotine vaping product use on cessation from cigarettes: What do we know, what do we need to know? [access full article]
Background and Aims: The long term population health impact of nicotine vaping products (NVPs) use among smokers is unknown and subject to a range of plausible assumptions about the use and health consequences of NVPs. While NVPs use may substitute for cigarette smoking and thereby aid in quitting cigarette use, it is also possible that smokers who would have otherwise quit would instead delay quitting cigarettes. We aimed to develop a cohort-specific simulation model of the impact of NVPs on smoking cessation by adult smokers and resulting premature deaths (PD) and life-years lost (LYL).
Design: A cohort-specific simulation model of the impact of NVPs on smoking cessation by adult smokers and resulting premature deaths (PD) and life-years lost (LYL) was developed by gender for two birth-cohorts, age 30 and age 50 in 2012. Extensive sensitivity analyses were conducted.
Setting: United States PARTICIPANTS: Smokers in two birth-cohorts, age 30 and age 50 in 2012 MEASUREMENTS: Data were from the 1965-2012 National Health Interview Surveys and the 2014/5 Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey. The model incorporated a range of plausible assumptions from published literature about transition rates from regular smoking to exclusive NVP and dual use, from dual use to exclusive NVP use and from exclusive NVP use to no use.
Findings: Compared with the No-NVP scenario, the male (female) model projected 17.8% (19.3%) fewer PDs and 22.9% (26.6%) fewer LYL for the 1982 cohort and 5.4% (7.3%) fewer PDs and 7.9% (11.4%) fewer LYL for the 1962 cohort. These gains were sensitive to NVP use over time, age of initial NVP use, transitions from smoking to dual, exclusive NVP and no use, and relative NVP mortality risks.
Conclusions: Nicotine vaping product (NVP) use in the US is projected to have a net positive impact on population health over a wide range of plausible levels of NVP use, transitions to dual, exclusive NVP and no use, and NVP risks. However, net impact is sensitive to parameter estimates.[download PDF]
Branston, et al. 2018. Keeping smoking affordable in higher tax environments via smoking thinner roll-your-own cigarettes: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey 2006-15 [access full article]
Background: Roll-Your-Own tobacco (RYO) use is increasingly popular in many countries: it is generally cheaper than factory-made cigarettes (FM), and smokers can further reduce costs by adjusting the amount of tobacco in each cigarette. However, the level of risk of RYO compared with FM cigarettes is similar and does not meaningfully change with cigarette weight. We assessed the weight of tobacco in RYO cigarettes across jurisdictions with differing tobacco taxes/prices and over time.
Method: Six waves of the International Tobacco Control 4 Country longitudinal study of smokers and recent ex-smokers, providing 3176 observations from exclusive RYO users covering 2006-15, are used to calculate the weight of tobacco used in RYO cigarettes in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. Multilevel regression analyses were used to compare weights across countries, socio-demographic factors, and over time.
Results: Smokers in the UK and Australia, where tobacco is relatively expensive, show higher levels of exclusive RYO use (25.8% and 13.8% respectively) and lower mean weights of tobacco per RYO cigarette (0.51 g(sd 0.32 g) and 0.53 g(0.28 g)), compared with both Canada and especially the US (6.0% and 3.5%, and 0.76 g(0.45 g) and 1.07 g(0.51 g)). Smokers in the UK and Australia also exhibited a statistically significant year-on-year decrease in the mean weight of each RYO cigarette.
Conclusions: Taxation of RYO should increase considerably in the UK and Australia so that RYO and FM cigarettes are taxed equivalently to reduce RYO attractiveness and inequalities. Other measures to reduce the price differentials, including taxing RYO solely on weight, are also discussed.[download PDF]
Heckman, et al. 2018. Longer duration of smoking abstinence is associated with waning cessation fatigue [access full article]
Background: Cessation fatigue, a construct theorized to reflect exhaustion of coping resources due to quitting smoking, has been found to predict relapse. This study examines the association between cessation fatigue and duration of abstinence among 1397 adult former smokers who participated in the 2016 International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 Survey (4CV). We hypothesized lower levels of cessation fatigue will be correlated with longer duration of abstinence.
Method: Data for this cross-sectional study were collected in a web-based survey which recruited national samples from Australia, Canada, England, and United States. Former smokers were abstinent up to five years.
Results: Lower cessation fatigue was associated with longer duration of smoking abstinence. Cessation fatigue was highest in former smokers that had been quit for up to six months, with lower cessation fatigue found in those quit for at least seven months and another drop-off in fatigue observed for those quit for at least two years.
Conclusions: Cessation fatigue is highest soon after quitting smoking but declines over time for those who remain abstinent. Understanding the mechanisms by which cessation fatigue is related to abstinence could potentially offer insights into ways to help individuals sustain quitting.[download PDF]
Shang, et al. 2018. Association between tobacco prices and smoking onset: Evidence from the TCP India Survey [access full article]
Background: Tobacco use is prevalent among youth and adults in India. However, direct evidence on how increasing taxes or prices affect tobacco use onset is scarce.
Objective: To analyse the associations between cigarette and bidi prices and smoking onset in India, and how these associations differ by socioeconomic status.
Methodology: The Wave 1 of the Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation India Survey by the International Tobacco Control Project contains information on the age at smoking onset for cigarettes and bidis. Using this information, data were expanded to a yearly pseudo-panel dataset that tracked respondents at risk of smoking onset from 1998 to 2011. The associations between bidi prices and bidi smoking onset, between cigarette prices and cigarette smoking onset, and between bidi and cigarette prices and any smoking onset were examined using a discrete-time hazard model with a logit link function. Stratified analyses were conducted to examine the difference in these associations by rural versus urban division.
Results: We found that higher bidi prices were significantly associated with a lowered hazard of bidi smoking onset (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.51). Higher cigarette prices were significantly (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.92) associated with a lowered hazard of cigarette smoking onset among urban residents, but this association was non-significant when SEs were clustered at the state level. In addition, the association between increasing bidis prices and lowered hazards of bidi smoking onset was greater for urban residents than for rural ones (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Under the new regime of a central goods and service system, policymakers may need to raise the prices of tobacco products sufficiently to curb smoking onset.[download PDF]
Fu, et al. 2018. Prevalence and correlates of different smoking bans in homes and cars among smokers in 6 countries of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: Second-hand smoke exposure has decreased in a number of countries due to widespread smoke-free legislation in public places, but exposure is still present in private settings like homes and cars. Our objective was to describe to what extent smokers implement smoking rules in these settings in six European Union (EU) Member States (MS).
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of adult smokers from Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spain (ITC six European countries survey, part of the EUREST-PLUS Project). We analysed data from 6011 smokers regarding smoking rules in their homes and in cars with children (no rules, partial ban, total ban). We described the prevalence of smoking rules by EU MS and several sociodemographic and smoking characteristics using prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) derived from Poisson regression models.
Results: In homes, 26.5% had a total smoking ban (from 13.1% in Spain to 35.5% in Hungary), 44.7% had a partial ban (from 41.3% in Spain to 49.9% in Greece), and 28.8% had no-smoking rules (from 20.2% in Romania to 45.6% in Spain). Prevalence of no-smoking rules in cars with children was 16.2% (from 11.2% in Germany to 20.4% in Spain). The correlates of not restricting smoking in homes and cars included: low education (PR=1.51; 95%CI: 1.20-1.90 and PR=1.55; 95%CI: 1.09-2.20), smoking >30 cigarettes daily (PR=1.53; 95%CI: 1.10-2.14 and PR=2.66; 95%CI: 1.40-5.05) and no attempts to quit ever (PR=1.18; 95%CI: 1.06-1.31 and PR=1.28; 95%CI: 1.06-1.54).
Conclusions: Among smokers in six EU MS, no-smoking rules were more prevalent in homes than in cars with children. Whilst awareness about the health effects of exposure to tobacco smoke on children seemed to be high, more research is needed to better understand the factors that promote private smoke-free environments.[download PDF]