Nav: Home

Smokers who roll their own less inclined to quit

December 04, 2018

Smokers who roll their own cigarettes are less likely to try quitting smoking, according to a new study carried out by UCL.

The research, published today in BMJ Open and funded by Cancer Research UK, found that only 15.9% of the smokers who mainly rolled their own cigarettes were highly motivated to quit, compared to 20.3% of those who mainly smoked factory-made cigarettes.

The study found that the major reason for roll-your-own (RYO) smokers' disinclination to quit appeared to be the relatively cheap cost of RYO products compared with factory-made cigarettes. While average daily cigarette consumption by RYO users was broadly comparable to that of factory-made cigarette smokers, they only spent around half as much on smoking each week (£14.33 versus £26.79).

"Cost is consistently reported by smokers as one of the primary motives for quitting. With RYO cigarettes offering a lower cost alternative to factory-made cigarettes, RYO users may be more able to afford to continue to smoke and therefore less inclined to try to quit," explained the study's lead author, Dr Sarah Jackson (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care).

The research was conducted over a period of nine and a half years, from November 2008 to March 2018, using the Smoking Toolkit Study, an ongoing monthly study about smoking habits in England. Data was provided by over 38,000 English adults who were current smokers or who had quit in the past year.

Over half (56.3%) of the smokers surveyed said they exclusively smoked factory-made cigarettes and over a third (36.6%) said they exclusively smoked RYOs.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2017, 15.1% of the UK population are smokers - around 7.4m people - but even though the overall smoking prevalence in the UK is declining, use of RYO cigarettes is increasing. Between 1990 and 2017, RYO use in Britain increased from 2% to 28% in female and from 18% to 44% in male smokers.

"This shift from factory-made to RYO smoking was what prompted us to investigate the phenomenon in more detail. With a growing proportion of the smoking population using RYO, it is important to understand the extent to which RYO smoking influences smokers' desires to quit," said Dr Jackson.

"We found that RYO smokers were less motivated to stop smoking and less likely to make a quit attempt than smokers of factory-made cigarettes."

"This has important implications for tobacco control policy, given that a key strategy used by governments worldwide to reduce smoking is to raise taxes on tobacco in order to increase the cost of smoking."

Kruti Shrotri, Cancer Research UK's tobacco control expert, added: "RYO cigarettes are much cheaper, so it's not surprising that smokers using these cigarettes are less motivated to quit than those using factory-made ones. But it's important to know that there's no safe way to use tobacco. The Government needs to increase taxes on rolling tobacco to match the prices of factory-made cigarettes to help motivate smokers to quit, whatever type of tobacco they use.

"Smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer, preventable illness and avoidable death. We encourage smokers to talk to their local Stop Smoking Service, GP or pharmacist on how they can get support to quit."

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said: "The evidence is clear, access to cheaper roll your own tobacco makes it less likely smokers will quit. And a major reason that factory-made cigarettes are more expensive is taxation. Tax is around 30p per cigarette for factory-made compared to less than half that for roll your own cigarettes. Significantly increasing roll your own taxes to remove this differential would be a win-win for the government, by discouraging smoking while at the same time increasing the total tax take."
-end-
Peer-reviewed / observational / people

Notes to Editors

For more information or to speak to the researchers involved, please contact Colin Brook, UCL Media Relations. T: +44 (0)20 3108 9046 / E: colin.brook@ucl.ac.uk

Jackson, S E; Shahab, L; West, R; Brown, J (Dept. of Behavioural Science & Health, UCL): 'Roll-your-own cigarette use and smoking cessation behaviour: a cross-sectional population study in England' will be published in BMJ Open on 5 December 2018 at 00:01 GMT and is under a strict embargo until this time.

The DOI for this paper will be: http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025370

About UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 39,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk | Follow us on Twitter @uclnews | Watch our YouTube channel YouTube.com/UCLTV

About Cancer Research UK
  • Cancer Research UK is the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK's pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no funding from the UK government for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK's ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.


For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit http://www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

University College London

Related Smoking Articles:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.
What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.
Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.
Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.
Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.
Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.
A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.
A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.
More Smoking News and Smoking Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Debbie Millman: Designing Our Lives
From prehistoric cave art to today's social media feeds, to design is to be human. This hour, designer Debbie Millman guides us through a world made and remade–and helps us design our own paths.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#574 State of the Heart
This week we focus on heart disease, heart failure, what blood pressure is and why it's bad when it's high. Host Rachelle Saunders talks with physician, clinical researcher, and writer Haider Warraich about his book "State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease" and the ails of our hearts.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Insomnia Line
Coronasomnia is a not-so-surprising side-effect of the global pandemic. More and more of us are having trouble falling asleep. We wanted to find a way to get inside that nighttime world, to see why people are awake and what they are thinking about. So what'd Radiolab decide to do?  Open up the phone lines and talk to you. We created an insomnia hotline and on this week's experimental episode, we stayed up all night, taking hundreds of calls, spilling secrets, and at long last, watching the sunrise peek through.   This episode was produced by Lulu Miller with Rachael Cusick, Tracie Hunte, Tobin Low, Sarah Qari, Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Shima Oliaee, and Jonny Moens. Want more Radiolab in your life? Sign up for our newsletter! We share our latest favorites: articles, tv shows, funny Youtube videos, chocolate chip cookie recipes, and more. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.