Contraband tobacco use hinders smoking cessation

March 04, 2013

People who smoke low-cost contraband cigarettes in Canada are less likely to stop smoking in the short term compared with people who smoke more expensive premium or discount cigarettes, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

"We posit that the substantial price gap between premium/discount and contraband cigarettes is the reason for this correlation," writes Graham Mecredy, Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Toronto, Ontario, with coauthors.

Contraband cigarettes are available in Canada through various channels, including smuggling from the United States, illegal production in Canada or diversion from tax-exempt First Nations users. The estimated contraband tobacco market in 2008 in Ontario, the country's largest province, made up to 42% of total cigarette sales. Premium and discount cigarettes cost an average of $6.30-$10.30 for 20 cigarettes compared with $2.50 for contraband cigarettes.

During the first 6 months of the study, 19% of contraband cigarette smokers tried to quit compared with 30% of the other smokers. Of those who smoked premium/discount cigarettes, 11% quit smoking for at least 30 days compared with only 4% of people who smoked contraband cigarettes.

"Using the consumer demand theory, which suggests that consumption decreases as price increases, and the strong evidence linking high tobacco prices to reduced consumption at the population level, the correlation between the low price of contraband tobacco and poorer smoking cessation is logical," state the authors.

However, the availability of low-cost contraband cigarettes did not prevent people from making a quit attempt, a finding that supports previous studies that indicate that quit attempts and smoking cessation are affected by different factors.

"Given that smoking contraband cigarettes has a negative influence on cessation outcomes, tobacco control policies that reduce or eliminate access to contraband tobacco may have a substantial impact on population-level quitting behaviour," write the authors. "To optimize the public health benefits of current and future tobacco control initiatives, innovative solutions that address the accessibility of contraband tobacco are required."

The authors point out that enforcement alone will not solve the problem but that First Nations communities, which are often the entry point for contraband tobacco, should be engaged in helping address this issue.
-end-


Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Smoking Cessation Articles from Brightsurf:

A call for more comprehensive smoking cessation programs for cancer patients who smoke
In an editorial published in JAMA, UNC Lineberger's Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, director of the UNC Tobacco Treatment Programs and professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, and his co-authors called for more funding and better reimbursement for smoking cessation counseling for cancer patients who smoke.

Group-based smoking cessation help US inmates quit tobacco
Behavioral and nicotine replacement therapies offered together can help people who are incarcerated quit smoking, according to Rutgers researchers.

Cost-benefit analysis of funding a smoking cessation program before surgery
For patients undergoing surgery, smoking is linked with a higher risk of experiencing complications following their procedure, and quitting smoking before surgery may help reduce this risk.

E-Cigarettes more effective than counseling alone for smoking cessation
Smokers who received smoking cessation counseling and used electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) containing nicotine were more than twice as likely to successfully quit smoking compared to those who received counseling but did not use e-cigarettes, in a clinical trial presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).

Adding smoking cessation to lung cancer screening can reduce mortality by 14%
Including smoking cessation with existing lung cancer screening efforts would reduce lung cancer mortality by 14% and increase life-years gained by 81% compared with screening alone, according to a study from Rafael Meza from the University of Michigan and colleagues and published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, a publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Certain factors predict smoking cessation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Smoking doubles the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and continuing to smoke after being diagnosed has negative effects on patients.

Smoking cessation treatment targets adolescents
The primary focus of smoking cessation research has been adults in the past, but a new study in JAMA Pediatrics zeroed in on adolescents.

Smoking cessation program for patients with, without cancer
A tobacco treatment program delivered at a cancer center had average seven-day smoking abstinence rates of about 45% at three- and six-month follow-ups and nearly 44% at the nine-month follow-up, and those rates didn't differ between patients with and without cancer.

Study underscores role of menthol cigarettes in smoking cessation
Researchers cite Big Tobacco's marketing stronghold on African-American smokers among reasons why this group is 12% less likely to quit.

Mindfulness smoking-cessation app can change the brain
Brown University researchers have found that a mindfulness-based smartphone app designed to help people stop smoking was effective at reducing study participants' self-reported daily cigarette consumption.

Read More: Smoking Cessation News and Smoking Cessation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.