Future nicotine use preferences of current cigarette smokers: Findings from the 2020 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey

Citation

Li, L., Borland, R., Le Grande, M.R., Gartner, C. (2023). Future nicotine use preferences of current cigarette smokers: Findings from the 2020 International Tobacco Countrol Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey. Drug and Alcohol Review, [Published online Dec 19, doi: 10.1111/dar.13791].

Abstract

Introduction: Consumer preferences should be important factors that are considered when developing health policies and interventions. This paper examines the prevalence of, and factors associated with, consumer preferences regarding smoking behaviour 1 to 2 years in the future.

Methods: At least weekly cigarette smokers in the 2020 wave of the International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey (USA, Canada, England and Australia) (N=8642) were asked if they preferred to continue to smoke or to quit with or without an alternative nicotine product (ANP) over the next 1–2 years.

Results: Country-specific weighted data showed 21.5% preferred to continue smoking and 8.0% were uncertain, leaving 70.6% preferring to quit: 13.7% using an ANP and 56.9% completely quitting nicotine. Apart from interest in quitting, the main predictors of preferring to quit were history of vaping, being aged 55 and over, smoking weekly, worrying about smoking harms, regretting starting and believing vaping is less harmful relative to smoking. Among those preferring to quit, preferring to use ANPs in future was very strongly associated with current vaping (especially daily), being younger, living in England, reporting strong urges to smoke, believing vaping is much less harmful than smoking, and not strongly regretting starting to smoke, and not wanting to quit.

Discussion and Conclusions: A significant minority of smokers preferred not to quit, at least in the next year or two. Both interest in quitting and preference for ANPs over complete cessation were associated with similar covariates, including interest in vaping.