Scientific Journal Articles
Showing 126-150 of 632 Results
Chung-Hall, et al. 2019. Impact of the WHO FCTC over the first decade: a global evidence review prepared for the Impact Assessment Expert Group [access full article]
Objective: To present findings of a narrative review on the implementation and effectiveness of 17 Articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) during the Treaty’s first decade.
Data sources: Published reports on global FCTC implementation; searches of four databases through June 2016; hand-search of publications/online resources; tobacco control experts.
Study selection: WHO Convention Secretariat global progress reports (2010, 2012, 2014); 2015 WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic; studies of social, behavioural, health, economic and/or environmental impacts of FCTC policies.
Data extraction: Progress in the implementation of 17 FCTC Articles was categorised (higher/intermediate/lower) by consensus. 128 studies were independently selected by multiple authors in consultation with experts.
Data synthesis: Implementation was highest for smoke-free laws, health warnings and education campaigns, youth access laws, and reporting/information exchange, and lowest for measures to counter industry interference, regulate tobacco product contents, promote alternative livelihoods and protect health/environment. Price/tax increases, comprehensive smoking and marketing bans, health warnings, and cessation treatment are associated with decreased tobacco consumption/health risks and increased quitting. Mass media campaigns and youth access laws prevent smoking initiation, decrease prevalence and promote cessation. There were few studies on the effectiveness of policies in several domains, including measures to prevent industry interference and regulate tobacco product contents.
Conclusions: The FCTC has increased the implementation of measures across several policy domains, and these implementations have resulted in measurable impacts on tobacco consumption, prevalence and other outcomes. However, FCTC implementation must be accelerated, and Parties need to meet all their Treaty obligations and consider measures that exceed minimum requirements.[download PDF]
Craig, et al. 2019. The impact of the WHO FCTC on tobacco control: Perspectives from stakeholders in 12 countries. [access full article]
Background: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the first WHO treaty, entered into force in 2005. In April 2015, a seven-member independent expert group (EG) was established by a decision of the FCTC Conference of the Parties to assess the impact of the Treaty in its first decade. One component of the EG’s methodology was to gather evidence on WHO FCTC impact from Parties themselves. This paper presents findings from 12 country missions on how the FCTC impacted progress on tobacco control.
Methods: Between November 2015 and May 2016, EG members conducted missions in 12 countries representing each of the six WHO regions and the four World Bank economic development levels. In each country, the EG interviewed a broad range of stakeholders to assess the extent to which the FCTC had contributed to tobacco control. The primary objective was to assess whether tobacco control measures would have been developed or passed, or implemented at all, or as quickly, if there had been no FCTC. Through this counterfactual inquiry, the EG sought to determine the FCTC’s causal role.
Conclusion: The FCTC was reported to have made contributions along the entire policy/regulation process: the development of a measure, building legislative and political support for a measure and its implementation. These stakeholder perspectives support the conclusion that the FCTC has played a pivotal role in accelerating and strengthening the implementation of tobacco control measures, although tobacco industry interference continues to be a significant obstacle to further advancement.[download PDF]
Heckman, et al. 2019. Behavioral economic purchase tasks to estimate demand for novel nicotine/tobacco products and prospectively predict future use: Evidence from the Netherlands [access full article]
Introduction: The demand for alternative nicotine/tobacco products is not well established. This paper uses a behavioral economic approach to test whether smokers have differential demand for conventional factory-made, electronic, and very low nicotine content cigarettes (FMCs/ECs/VLNCs) and uses the prospective cohort design to test the predictive validity of demand indices on subsequent use of commercially available FMCs and Ecs.
Methods: Daily smokers (â‰¥16 years) from the Netherlands completed an online survey in April 2014 (N = 1215). Purchase tasks were completed for FMCs, ECs, and VLNCs. Participants indicated the number of cigarettes they would consume in 24 h, across a range of prices (0-30 euro). The relationship between consumption and price was quantified into four indices of demand (intensity, Pmax, breakpoint, and essential value). A follow-up survey in July 2015 measured FMC and EC use. Results: At baseline, greater demand was observed for FMCs relative to ECs and VLNCs across all demand indices, with no difference between ECs and VLNCs. At follow-up, greater baseline FMC demand (intensity, essential value) was associated with lower quit rates and higher relapse. EC demand (Pmax, breakpoint, essential value) was positively associated with any EC use between survey waves, past 30 day EC use, and EC purchase between waves.
Conclusions: Smokers valued FMCs more than ECs or VLNCs, and FMCs were less sensitive to price increases. Demand indices predicted use of commercially available products over a 15 month period. To serve as viable substitutes for FMCs, ECs and VLNCs will need to be priced lower than FMCs.
Implications: Purchase tasks can be adapted for novel nicotine/tobacco products as a means to efficiently quantify demand and predict use. Among current daily smokers, the demand for ECs and VLNCs is lower than FMCs.[download PDF]
Thompson. 2019. Combining data from new and traditional sources in population surveys [access full article]
This paper is a review of some applications of the combination of data sets, such as combining census or administrative data and survey data, constructing expanded data sets through linkage, combining largescale commercial databases with survey data and harnessing designed data collection to be able to make use of non-probability samples. It is aimed to highlight their commonalities and differences and to formulate some general principles for data set combination.[download PDF]
This study examines whether having health conditions or concerns related to smoking is associated with use of vaping products. Data came from the 2016 wave of the International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey. Smokers and recent quitters (n = 11,344) were asked whether they had a medical diagnosis for nine health conditions (i.e., depression, anxiety, alcohol problems, severe obesity, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease) and concerns about past and future health effects of smoking, and their vaping activities. Respondents with depression and alcohol problems were more likely to be current vapers both daily (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 1.42, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.09–1.85, p < 0.05 for depression; and AOR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.02–2.27, p < 0.05 for alcohol) and monthly (AOR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.11–1.57 for depression, p < 0.01; and AOR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.06–1.90, p < 0.05 for alcohol). Vaping was more likely at monthly level for those with severe obesity (AOR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.29–2.43, p < 0.001), cancer (AOR = 5.19, 95% CI 2.20–12.24, p < 0.001), and concerns about future effects of smoking (AOR = 1.83, 95% CI 1.47–2.28, p < 0.001). Positive associations were also found between chronic pain and concerns about past health effects of smoking and daily vaping. Only having heart disease was, in this case negatively, associated with use of vaping products on their last quit attempt (AOR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.43–0.91, p < 0.05). Self-reported health condition or reduced health associated with smoking is not systematically leading to increased vaping or increased likelihood of using vaping as a quitting strategy.[download PDF]
Stoklosa, et al. 2019. Price, tax and tobacco product substitution in Zambia: Findings from the ITC Zambia Survey [access full article]
Background: In Zambia, the number of cigarette users is growing, and the lack of strong tax policies is likely an important cause. When adjusted for inflation, levels of tobacco tax have not changed since 2007. Moreover, roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, a less-costly alternative to factory-made (FM) cigarettes, is highly prevalent.
Data and methods: We modelled the probability of FM and RYO cigarette smoking using individual-level data obtained from the 2012 and 2014 waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Zambia Survey. We used two estimation methods: the standard estimation method involving separate random effects probit models and a method involving a system of equations (incorporating bivariate seemingly unrelated random effects probit) to estimate price elasticities of FM and RYO cigarettes and their cross-price elasticities.
Results: The estimated price elasticities of smoking prevalence are −0.20 and −0.03 for FM and RYO cigarettes, respectively. FM and RYO are substitutes; that is, when the price of one of the products goes up, some smokers switch to the other product. The effects are stronger for substitution from FM to RYO than vice versa.
Conclusions: This study affirms that increasing cigarette tax with corresponding price increases could significantly reduce cigarette use in Zambia. Furthermore, reducing between-product price differences would reduce substitution from FM to RYO. Since RYO use is associated with lower socioeconomic status, efforts to decrease RYO use, including through tax/price approaches and cessation assistance, would decrease health inequalities in Zambian society and reduce the negative economic consequences of tobacco use experienced by the poor.[download PDF]
Nargis, et al. 2019. Trend in the affordability of tobacco products in Bangladesh: findings from the ITC Bangladesh Surveys [access full article]
Background: The price of tobacco products in relation to the income of tobacco users—affordability—is recognised as a key determinant of tobacco use behaviour. The effectiveness of a price increase as a deterrent to tobacco use depends on how much price increases in relation to the income of the potential users. The aim of this paper is to examine the distribution of and trends in the affordability of tobacco products in Bangladesh.
Method: Using four waves of International Tobacco Control Survey data on Bangladesh, this study measures affordability of tobacco products at the individual level as the ratio of self-reported price and self-reported income. The trends in affordability by brand categories of cigarettes and of bidi and smokeless tobacco are estimated using multivariate linear regression analysis.
Results: Despite significant increase in price, the affordability of cigarettes increased between 2009 and 2014–2015 due to income growth outpacing price increase. The increase was disproportionately larger for more expensive brands. The affordability of bidis increased over this period as well. The affordability of smokeless tobacco products remained unchanged between 2011–2012 and 2014–2015.
Conclusion: The tax increases that were implemented during 2009–2015 were not enough to increase tobacco product prices sufficiently to outweigh the effect of income growth, and to reduce tobacco consumption. The findings from this research inform policymakers that in countries experiencing rapid economic growth, significant tax increases are needed to counteract the effect of income growth, in order for the tax increases to be effective in reducing tobacco use.[download PDF]
van den Brand, et al. 2019. Does free or lower cost smoking cessation medication stimulate quitting? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Netherlands and UK Surveys [access full article]
Objective: To investigate whether mentioning free or lower cost smoking cessation medication as a trigger for thinking about quitting is related to higher medication use, more quit attempts and quit success, and whether these associations are modified by education and income.
Methods: Data were derived from the 2013 and 2014 surveys of the International Tobacco Control Netherlands (n=1164) and UK (n=768) cohort. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess associations between mentioning in 2013 that free/lower cost smoking cessation medication was a trigger for thinking about quitting smoking and the use of medication, quit attempts and smoking cessation in 2014.
Results: 37.0% of smokers in the UK and 24.9% of smokers in the Netherlands mentioned free/lower cost medication as a trigger for thinking about quitting. Smokers who mentioned this trigger were more likely to have used cessation medication during a quit attempt both in the UK (OR=4.19, p<0.001) and in the Netherlands (OR=2.14, p=0.033). The association between mentioning free/lower cost medication as a trigger for thinking about quitting and actual quit attempts was significant in the UK (OR=1.45, p=0.030), but not in the Netherlands (OR=1.10, p=0.587). There was no significant association with quit success. Associations did not differ across income and education groups.
Conclusion: Free/lower cost smoking cessation medication may increase the use of cessation medication and stimulate quit attempts among smokers with low, moderate and high education and income.[download PDF]
Curti, et al. 2019. Tobacco taxation, illegal cigarette supply, and geography: findings from the ITC Uruguay Surveys [access full article]
Background: In Uruguay, real tobacco taxes increased significantly during 2005–2010 and 2014–2017 and decreased during 2010–2014. The effects of these tax changes on illegal and legal cigarette usage differed significantly when we compared cities in the middle and south of the country with cities on the border.
Objective: This paper analyses whether supply side factors such as geographical location, distribution networks and the effectiveness of tobacco control play a significant role in sales and use of illegal cigarettes when tobacco taxes change, particularly given the price gap between legal and lower-priced illegal cigarettes.
Methods: Using the International Tobacco Control Evaluation Project Uruguay Survey data (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014), choices among illegal, legal and roll-your-own cigarettes are estimated as a function of smokers’ geographical location, an indicator of illegal cigarette supply, and controlling for socioeconomic and demographic variables. Smoking behaviours in Montevideo, Durazno and Maldonado were compared with those in two border cities, Salto and Rivera, where illegal cigarette prevalence may differ.
Findings: An increase in taxes on manufactured legal and roll-your-own cigarettes increased the odds that smokers in cities near the borders and women switched down to illegal cigarettes. City geographical location, controls effectiveness and distribution networks may play a significant role in accessibility of illegal cigarettes. To improve the effectiveness of increased taxes and prices in reducing smoking, policymakers may consider specific policies intended to reduce access to illegal cigarettes, such as ratification and effective implementation of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products of WHO.[download PDF]
Background: In 2009, the China National Tobacco Company (CNTC) began their Premiumization Strategy, designed to encourage smokers to trade up to more expensive brands, mainly by promoting the concept that higher class cigarettes are better quality and less harmful. This study is the first evaluation of the strategy’s impact on: (1) prevalence of premium brand cigarettes (PBC), mid-priced brand cigarettes (MBC) and discount brand cigarettes (DBC) over 9 years, from 3 years pre-strategy (2006) to 6 years post-strategy (2015); and (2) changes in reasons for choosing PBCs, MBCs and DBCs.
Methods: A representative cohort of adult Chinese smokers (n=9047) in seven cities who participated in five waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey: pre-implementation (Wave 1 (2006; n=3452), Wave 2 (2007–2008; n=3586)); mid-implementation (Wave 3 (2009; n=4172)); and post-implementation (Wave 4 (2011–2012; n=4070), Wave 5 (2013–2015; n=2775)). Generalised estimating equations were conducted to examine changes in prevalence of PBCs, MBCs and DBCs, and reasons for brand choice from pre-implementation to post-implementation.
Results: From pre-implementation to post-implementation, there was an increase in prevalence of PBCs (5.4% to 23.2%, p<0.001) and MBCs (40.0% to 50.4%, p<0.001), and a decrease in DBCs (54.6% to 26.5%, p<0.001). There was an increase in smokers who chose their current brand because they believed it to be less harmful, both for MBC smokers (+13.0%, p=0.001) and PBC smokers (+9.0%, p=0.06). There was an increase for smokers in all brand classes for choosing their current brand because they were ‘higher in quality’ and because of affordable price, but the greatest increase was among PBC smokers (+18.6%, p<0.001 and +34.9%, p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that the rising trend in Chinese smokers’ choice of ‘less harmful’, ‘higher quality’ and ‘affordable’ cigarettes, particularly PBCs, is likely due to CNTC’s aggressive marketing strategies. Strong tobacco control policies that prohibit CNTC’s marketing activities are critical in order to dispel erroneous beliefs that sustain continued smoking in China, where the global tobacco epidemic is exerting its greatest toll.[download PDF]
Ngo, et al. 2019. Analysis of gender differences in the impact of taxation and taxation structure on cigarette consumption in 17 ITC countries [access full article]
Although increasing taxes has been established as the most effective tobacco control policy, it is not clear whether these policies reduce cigarette consumption equally among women and men. In this study, we examine whether the association between taxation/taxation structure and cigarette consumption differs by gender. The data is from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Projects in 17 countries. Cigarette consumption was measured by gender for each ITC country. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were employed to investigate gender differences in the association between cigarette consumption and tax structures, while controlling for time-variant demographic characteristics such as unemployment rates, proportions of adults, and percent of female population. Tiered tax structures are associated with higher cigarette consumption among both males and females. Female smokers are more responsive to an average tax increase than male smokers. Among males, higher ad valorem share in excise taxes is associated with lower cigarette consumption, but it is not the case for females. Females may not be as responsive to the prices raised by ad valorem taxes, despite being responsive to average taxes, suggesting that smokers by gender may face different prices.[download PDF]
DeHart, et al. 2019. The Experimental Tobacco Marketplace: Narrative influence on electronic cigarette substitution [access full article]
Despite promising decreases in overall smoking rates, a significant proportion of the population continues to engage in this costly behavior. Substituting e-cigarettes for conventional cigarettes is an increasingly popular harm-reduction strategy. Narratives may be one method of increasing the substitutability of e-cigarettes. Participants (N = 160) were assigned to 1 of 4 narratives that described a close friend becoming ill. In the positive narrative, participants read about a friend that became ill but learned it was only the flu. In the negative narrative, the friend became ill from smoking cigarettes; in the negativeregret narrative, the friend became ill from smoking cigarettes and explicitly expressed regret for having started smoking; and in the negativechange narrative, the friend became ill from smoking, switched to e-cigarettes, and made a full recovery. Participants then completed an experimental tobacco marketplace (ETM) in which they could purchase conventional cigarettes and alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarettes. Across ETM trials, the price of conventional cigarettes increased while the price of the alternative products remained constant. Initial purchasing of conventional cigarettes decreased and initial purchasing of e-cigarettes increased in the negative-change group compared with the other three groups. This finding was moderated by conventional cigarette dependence and perception of e-cigarette risk but not previous e-cigarette exposure. Narratives can change conventional cigarette and e-cigarette purchasing in an ETM that mimics real-world marketplaces. Narratives can be a valuable harm-reduction tool because they are cost-effective, can be widely disseminated, and can be personalized to individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).[download PDF]
Wackowski, et al. 2019. Youth and young adult exposure to and perceptions of news media coverage about e-cigarettes in the United States, Canada and England [access full article]
News media coverage has the potential to shape awareness and perceptions of e-cigarettes, but little is known about youth and young adult exposure to e-cigarette news. We analyzed news exposure measures on Wave 1 of the ITC Youth Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey, conducted in Canada, England, and the U.S. Web-based surveys were completed by 16-19-year-olds in July/August 2017 (n = 12,064). The prevalence of exposure to e-cigarette news and its perceived valence is provided. Logistic regression was used to model the odds of news exposure, and the association between news exposure and e-cigarette harm perceptions, susceptibility, and quitting intentions. Overall, 17.1% of young people reported hearing or seeing e-cigarette news at least 'sometimes' in the past 30 days. The majority of those exposed (n = 2052) perceived the content of the news stories to be mostly negative (35.7%) or mixed (34.8%) about e-cigarettes, versus mostly positive (19%). Perceived exposure to mostly negative e-cigarette stories was lower among past 30-day e-cigarette users and youth in England. Participants exposed to mostly negative e-cigarette news were more likely to perceive that e-cigarettes cause at least some harm and, among past 30 day users, have intentions to quit e-cigarettes in the next month. Exposure to mostly positive news was associated with higher odds of e-cigarette susceptibility among never triers. Young people report exposure to e-cigarette news with varied perceptions of its valence. E-cigarette news exposure may shape e-cigarette harm perceptions and use intentions, as well as reflect existing beliefs and product interest.[download PDF]
Demjén, et al. 2019. The purchase sources of and price paid for cigarettes in six European countries: Findings from the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: Tobacco tax policies have been proven to be effective in reducing tobacco consumption, but their impact can be mitigated through price-minimizing behaviours among smokers. This study explored the purchase sources of tobacco products and the price paid for tobacco products in six EU member states.
Methods: Data from Wave 1 of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Survey collected from nationally representative samples of adult smokers in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spain (ITC 6E Survey) were used. The ITC 6E Survey sample, conducted in 2016, randomly sampled 6011 adult cigarette smokers aged 18 years or older. Information on purchase sources of tobacco was examined by country. The difference in reported purchase price by purchase location (store vs non-store/other) was analysed using linear regression for each country.
Results: Tobacco purchasing patterns and sources varied widely between countries. Non-store/other purchases were very rare in Hungary (0.1%) while these types of purchases were more common in Germany (5.1%) and Poland (8.6%). Reported prices of one standard pack of 20 cigarettes were highest in Germany (4.80€) and lowest in Hungary (2.45€). While nonstore purchases were only made by a minority of smokers (>10% in all countries), the price differential was considerable between store and non-store/other sources, up to 2€ per pack in Greece and in Germany.
Conclusions: The results suggest a huge variation of purchasing sources and price differentials between store and non-store purchasing sources across the six EU member states examined. While the cross-sectional data precludes any causal inference, supply chain control through licensing as introduced in Hungary and the lack of such measures in the other countries might nevertheless be a plausible explanation for the large differences in the frequency of non-store purchases observed in this study.[download PDF]
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.
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 e-cigarette status.
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).
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.
Introduction: Having a chronic disease either caused or worsened by tobacco smoking does not always translate into quitting smoking. Although smoking cessation is one of the most cost-effective medical interventions, it remains poorly implemented in healthcare settings. The aim was to examine whether smokers with chronic and respiratory diseases were more likely to receive support to quit smoking by a healthcare provider or make a quit attempt than smokers without these diseases.
Methods: This population-based study included a sample of 6011 adult smokers in six European countries. The participants were interviewed face-to-face and asked questions on sociodemographic characteristics, current diagnoses for chronic diseases, healthcare visits in the last 12 months and, if so, whether they had received any support to quit smoking. Questions on smoking behavior included nicotine dependence, motivation to quit smoking and quit attempts in the last 12 months. The results are presented as weighted percentages with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and as adjusted odds ratios with 95% CI based on logistic regression analyses.
Results: Smokers with chronic respiratory disease, those aged 55 years and older, as well as those with one or more chronic diseases were more likely to receive smoking cessation advice from a healthcare professional. Making a quit attempt in the last year was related to younger age, high educational level, higher motivation to quit, lower nicotine dependence and having received advice to quit from a healthcare professional but not with having chronic diseases. There were significant differences between countries with smokers in Romania consistently reporting more support to quit as well as quit attempts.
Conclusions: Although smokers with respiratory disease did indeed receive smoking cessation support more often than smokers without disease, many smokers did not receive any advice or support to quit during a healthcare visit.[download PDF]
Driezen, et al. 2019. Cross-border purchasing of cigarettes among smokers in six countries of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys [access full article]
Introduction: The availability of lower-cost cigarettes in neighboring countries provides price-sensitive smokers with incentives to purchase cheaper out-of-country cigarettes. This study estimates the prevalence of and factors associated with cross-border purchasing of cheaper cigarettes among smokers from Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Spain. The prevalence of cross-border purchasing was estimated by residential location, defined as living in regions bordering a lower-price country (where prices were at least €1/pack lower), regions bordering a similar- or higher-price country, and internal non-border regions.
Methods: Data were from a survey of nationally representative samples of adult smokers (n=6011) from Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Spain. The primary outcome was purchasing cheaper out-of-country cigarettes in the previous six months. Residential location was defined using The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS2 in Germany and NUTS3 in the other countries). Multivariable logistic regression tested differences in purchasing cheaper out-of-country cigarettes by country and residential location.
Results: Residential location was associated with purchasing cheaper out-of-country cigarettes in Germany and Poland (p<0.05): 31% of German and 11% of Polish smokers living in regions bordering lower-price countries reported purchasing cheaper out-of-country cigarettes in the previous six months. Smokers living in regions bordering lower-price countries had 4.21 times greater odds of purchasing cheaper out-of-country cigarettes compared to smokers living in non-border regions. Conclusions: Overall, only a minority of smokers in the six countries purchased cheaper cigarettes outside their country. However, smokers living in regions bordering countries where cigarettes were at least €1/pack lower than their home country had significantly higher odds of purchasing cheaper out-ofcountry cigarettes. This effect was especially prominent among German smokers. Tax harmonization policies designed to minimize crossborder price differentials can eliminate lower-priced alternatives for price-sensitive smokers.[download PDF]
Fix, et al. 2019. Cannabis use among a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of smokers and non-smokers in The Netherlands: Results from the 2015 ITC Netherlands Gold Magic Survey [access full article]
Objectives: Existing evidence shows that co-occurring use of tobacco and cannabis is widespread. Patterns of co-use of tobacco and cannabis may change as more jurisdictions legalise medicinal and/or recreational cannabis sales. This analysis examined predictors of current cannabis use and characterised methods of consumption among smokers and non-smokers in a context where cannabis use is legal.
Setting: The 2015 International Tobacco Control Netherlands—Gold Magic Survey conducted between July and August 2015.
Participants: Participants (n=1599; 1003 current smokers, 283 former smokers and 390 non-smokers) were asked to report their current (past 30-day) use of cigarettes and cannabis. Cigarette smokers reported whether they primarily used factory made of roll-your-own cigarettes. Those who reported any cannabis use in the last 30 days were asked about forms of cannabis used. X2and logistic regression analyses were used to assess relationships among combustible tobacco and cannabis use.
Results: Past 30-day cannabis use was somewhat higher among current tobacco (or cigarette) smokers (n=57/987=5.8%) than among former or never smokers (n=10/288=3.5% and n=6/316=1.9%, respectively). Joints were the most commonly used form of cannabis use for both current cigarette smokers (96.9%) and non-smokers (76.5%). Among those who smoked cannabis joints, 95% current smokers and 67% of non-smokers reported that they ‘always’ roll cannabis with tobacco.
Conclusions: In this Netherlands-based sample, most cannabis was reported to be consumed via smoking joints, most often mixed with tobacco. This behaviour may present unique health concerns for non-cigarette smoking cannabis users, since tobacco use could lead to nicotine dependence. Moreover, many non-cigarette smoking cannabis users appear to be misclassified as to their actual tobacco/nicotine exposure.[download PDF]
Yong, et al. 2019. Reasons for regular vaping and for its discontinuation among smokers and recent ex-smokers: Findings from the 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey [access full article]
Aims: To examine current and ex‐ smokers’ reasons for continuing or discontinuing regular use of nicotine vaping products (NVPs).
Design and participants: Cross‐sectional study of 2,722 current daily/weekly, and 921 ex‐daily/weekly, adult vapers who were either current or ex‐cigarette smokers when surveyed.
Setting: 2016 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 (4CV1) surveys conducted in the United States (n=1159), England (n=1269), Canada (n=964), and Australia (n=251).
Measurements: Current vapers were asked about the following reasons for regular NVP use: less harmful to others, social acceptance, enjoyment, use in smoke‐free areas, affordability, and managing smoking behaviour. Ex‐vapers were asked about the following reasons for discontinuing regular NVP use: addiction concerns, affordability, negative experiences, perceived social unacceptability, safety concerns, product dissatisfaction, inconvenience, unhelpfulness for quitting, unhelpfulness for managing cravings, and not needed for smoking relapse prevention. Possible correlates of NVP use and discontinuation, including smoking status, smoking/vaping frequency, quit duration (ex‐smokers only), country, age, and type of NVP device used, were examined using multivariate logistic regression models.
Findings: For current smokers, the top three reasons for current regular NVP use were: helpful for cutting down smoking (86%), less harmful to others (78%), and helpful for quitting smoking (77%). The top three reasons for discontinuing vaping were: not being satisfying (78%), unhelpfulness for cravings (63%), and unhelpfulness for quitting smoking (52%). For ex‐smokers, the top three reasons for current vaping were: enjoyment (91%), less harmful to others (90%) and affordability (90%); and for discontinuing were: not needed to stay quit (77%), not being satisfying (50%) and safety concerns (44%). Reported reasons varied by user characteristics, including age, country and NVP device‐type.
Conclusions: Regular use of nicotine vaping products is mainly motivated by its perceived benefits, especially for reducing or quitting smoking, whereas its discontinuation is motivated by perceived lack of such benefits, with some variation by user characteristics.[download PDF]
Thomas, et al. 2019. Predictors and reasons for quitting smoking and sustaining abstinence in a national cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers [access full article]
Introduction and Aims: The national prevalence of daily smoking among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is 39% but falling. We explore factors associated with starting and sustaining quit attempts, and reasons given for quitting.
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 the Talking About The Smokes baseline survey (April 2012–October 2013) who completed a follow‐up survey a year later (August 2013–August 2014).
Results: Having made more quit attempts, more recent quit attempts in the past, motivational attitudes, having been encouraged to quit by a health professional and having noticed tobacco advertising were associated with making a quit attempt between surveys. Having made longer quit attempts in the past, non‐daily smoking and quit self‐efficacy were associated with sustaining abstinence. But neither having made more quit attempts in the past nor dependence was associated with sustaining abstinence. Health concerns, price and setting an example to children were the most common reasons given by smokers and ex‐smokers for quitting.
Discussion and Conclusions: Different factors predict making and sustaining quit attempts among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers. We need to rethink current messages that just encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to keep making quit attempts by increasing motivation to quit, as motivation and making more quit attempts does not predict eventual success. We could focus more on increasing smokers’ confidence that they can successfully quit.[download PDF]
Wadsworth, et al. 2019. International differences in patterns of cannabis use among youth: Prevalence, perceptions of harm, and driving under the influence in Canada, England & United States [access full article]
Introduction: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance in the world. An increasing number of jurisdictions have legalized medical and non-medical cannabis; comparisons across jurisdictions can help evaluate the impact of these policy innovations. The current study examined patterns of cannabis use among youth in Canada (CA), England (EN) and the United States (US). At the time of study, non-medical cannabis use was prohibited federally in all three countries; however, medical cannabis was accessible with varying restrictions in CA, EN and most US states, while non-medical cannabis was legal in four US states.
Methods: Data come from an international online survey conducted in July 2017 (n = 12,064). Youth, aged 16-19, were asked about cannabis consumption, perceived access to cannabis, perceptions of harm, and driving after cannabis use. All estimates represent weighted data.
Results: US youth were more likely to report more frequent cannabis consumption, easier access, lower perceptions of harm, and higher rates of driving after cannabis use than CA and EN youth. CA youth reported more frequent consumption, easier access, and higher rates of driving after cannabis use than EN youth.
Conclusion: CA and US youth had higher prevalence of use, easier access, lower perceived harm and higher driving rates after cannabis use in comparison to EN. These differences may reflect more permissive cannabis policies in CA and US, as well as pre-existing trends. Future waves of the international cannabis study will examine trends over time within the same countries after cannabis legalization in CA and additional US states.[download PDF]
Levy, et al. 2019. An economic analysis of the pre-deeming US market for nicotine vaping products [access full article]
Objectives: Public health policies are often enacted without adequate consideration of the existing market structure or their impacts on that market structure. This paper provides context for the potential impact of regulations on nicotine vaping products (NVP) use by providing a structural analysis of competition in the US NVP market before FDA regulation.
Methods: A literature review was conducted with the aim of providing a framework for analysis that: 1) defines the market; 2) evaluates market concentration; 3) identifies entry barriers; and 4) examines firm conduct.
Results: The NVP market includes retail, internet sellers and vape shops. Although conventional retail became more concentrated after the major cigarette companies entered the NVP market, the vape shop and internet sectors remain substantially less concentrated, producing an overall low market concentration, with few entry barriers and competitive behavior.
Conclusions: The largely unregulated US NVP market has been highly competitive, with a high degree of innovation. However, new FDA deeming regulations as applied to NVPs could make it difficult for smaller companies to remain in the market and could discourage new companies and new product innovations from entering the market.[download PDF]
DeHart, et al. 2019. The Experimental Tobacco Marketplace: Narratives engage cognitive biases to increase electronic cigarette substitution [access full article]
The Experimental Tobacco Marketplace (ETM) is a digital storefront in which participants can purchase tobacco products using an account balance that reflects their typical tobacco product purchasing. The ETM is also an ideal resource to investigate the harm-reduction potential of alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. In a series of experiments, we explored the effects of harm-reduction narratives that encouraged e-cigarette substitution of conventional cigarettes in the ETM. These narratives incorporated different cognitive biases in order to determine which strategy is most effective.
In both experiments, participants, recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, read a narrative about a friend that either falls ill or faces financial difficulties and then made purchases in the ETM. Some of these narratives specifically incorporated different cognitive biases including trusting authority. Across ETM trials, the price of conventional cigarettes increased while the price of the alternative products, including e-cigarettes, remained constant.
Across both experiments, a general pattern emerged supporting the effectiveness of narratives in increasing e-cigarette purchasing. Importantly, from a harm-reduction perspective, this increase in ecigarette substitution frequently corresponded with a decrease in conventional cigarette purchasing.
Narratives can decrease conventional cigarette and increase e-cigarette purchasing in an ETM that mimics real-world marketplaces. Invoking different cognitive biases may bolster this effect. Narratives can be a valuable harm-reduction tool because they are cost-effective, can be widely disseminated, and can be personalized to individuals.
Morphett, et al. 2019. Barriers and facilitators to switching from smoking to vaping: Advice from vapers [access full article]
Introduction and Aims: Information available to consumers about nicotine vaping products varies according to the regulatory environment. A common information source in Australia, where nicotine vaping products are highly regulated, is advice from vapers. The aim of this study was to report on what advice current vapers would give to someone new to vaping.
Design and Methods: Australian vapers were recruited in 2016 via the International Tobacco Control Four‐Country Smoking and Vaping survey of smokers and ex‐smokers, as well as a separate recruitment process that targeted vapers. A total of 384 of 559 eligible participants responded to an open‐ended question about barriers to switching from smoking to vaping, and what advice they would give to new vapers.
Results: While some participants reported switching from smoking to vaping easily, others described an adjustment period. Difficulties included learning about technical aspects of nicotine vaping products, finding the ‘right’ combination of device and liquid, and accessing nicotine liquid given that it cannot legally be sold. Many accounts of satisfaction with quitting smoking and improved health were provided.
Discussion and Conclusions: Advice from current vapers is likely to be particularly influential in Australia, where information about vaping is not easily available from health organisations or official government sources. This research shows that advice to new vaper centres around experimentation with devices and flavours and finding trustworthy suppliers of nicotine liquid. It provides an insight into the initial challenges associated with switching from smoking to nicotine vaping products in environments where access to nicotine liquid is highly restricted.[download PDF]
Borland, et al. 2019. A new classification system for describing the use of nicotine vaping products alongside cigarettes (so-called "dual-use"): Findings from the ITC 4-Country Smoking and Vaping Wave 1 Survey [access full article]
Aims: To determine whether a simple combination of level of smoking and level of vaping results in a useful typology for characterising smoking and vaping behaviours.
Methods: Cross‐sectional data from adults (≥18 years) in the 2016 Wave 1 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey in the United States (n=2291), England (n=3591), Australia (n=1376), and Canada (n=2784) were used. Participants who either smoked, vaped or concurrently used both at least monthly were included and divided into 8 groups based on use frequency of each product (daily, non‐daily, no current use). This resulted in 4 concurrent use groups (predominant smokers, dual daily users, predominant vapers and concurrent non‐daily users). These groups were compared with each other and with the 4 exclusive use groups, on socio‐demographics, nicotine dependence, beliefs and attitudes about both products, and quit‐related measures using data weighted to reference population surveys in each country.
Results: 10.8% of the sample were concurrent users, with daily smokers vaping non‐daily (predominant smokers) constituting 51.6% of this group. All 8 categories differed from other categories on at least some measures. Concurrent daily nicotine users reported higher levels of indicators of nicotine dependence, and generally more positive attitudes toward both smoking and vaping than concurrent non‐daily users. Among daily nicotine users, compared with exclusive daily smokers, reports of interest in quitting were higher in all concurrent use groups. Dual daily users had the most positive attitudes about smoking overall, and saw it as the least denormalised, and at the same time were equally interested in quitting as other concurrent users and were most likely to report intending to continue vaping.
Conclusions: In Australia, Canada, England and the United States in 2016, daily nicotine users differed considerably from non‐daily nicotine users. Among daily nicotine users, dual daily users (those who smoke and vape concurrently) should be treated as a distinct grouping when studying relationships between smoking and vaping. The 8 level typology characterising concurrent and exclusive use of smoking and vaping should be considered when studying both products.[download PDF]