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Borland R.,VicHealth Center for Tobacco Control
Tobacco Control | Year: 2016

This commentary argues that a nicotine reduction strategy for tobacco control is a secondary strategy to the wider availability of low toxin forms of nicotine to give smokers a viable alternative to cigarettes. Failure to confront the likely reality of continued nicotine use and to make it as low in harm as possible may prolong the tobacco epidemic. © 2016 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Source

To investigate the links between health warning labels (WLs) on cigarette packets and relapse among recently quit smokers. Prospective longitudinal cohort survey. Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA. 1936 recent ex-smokers (44.4% male) from one of the first six waves (2002-2007) of the International Tobacco Control 4-Country policy evaluation survey, who were followed up in the next wave. Whether participants had relapsed at follow-up (approximately 1 year later). In multivariate analysis, very frequent noticing of WLs among ex-smokers was associated with greater relapse 1 year later (OR: 1.52, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.09, p<0.01), but this effect disappeared after controlling for urges to smoke and self-efficacy (OR: 1.29, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.80, p=0.135). In contrast, reporting that WLs make staying quit 'a lot' more likely (compared with 'not at all' likely) was associated with a lower likelihood of relapse 1 year later (OR: 0.65, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.86, p<0.01) and this effect remained robust across all models tested, increasing in some. This study provides the first longitudinal evidence that health warnings can help ex-smokers stay quit. Once the authors control for greater exposure to cigarettes, which is understandably predictive of relapse, WL effects are positive. However, it may be that ex-smokers need to actively use the health consequences that WLs highlight to remind them of their reasons for quitting, rather than it being something that happens automatically. Ex-smokers should be encouraged to use pack warnings to counter urges to resume smoking. Novel warnings may be more likely to facilitate this. Source

Vangeli E.,University College London | Stapleton J.,University College London | Smit E.S.,Maastricht University | Borland R.,VicHealth Center for Tobacco Control | West R.,University College London
Addiction | Year: 2011

Aims To identify the predictors of attempts to stop smoking and the predictors of quit attempt success in adult general population samples. Methods We performed an electronic search of EMBASE, Pubmed, Web of Science, PsychINFO and the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group specialized register for articles that examined, in prospective adult general population samples, predictors of quit attempts and the success of quit attempts. Experts were contacted for knowledge of other relevant studies. Eight studies met the inclusion criteria and results were extracted independently by two researchers. Results There was considerable methodological heterogeneity between studies. Motivational factors dominated the prediction of quit attempts, whereas only cigarette dependence consistently predicted success after an attempt had been made. Social grade also appeared to predict success but was only examined in two studies. None of the other socio-demographic factors consistently predicted making a quit attempt or success. Conclusions Population-level studies from a number of countries show that past quit attempts and measures of motivation to stop are highly predictive of quit attempts, whereas only measures of dependence are consistently predictive of success of those attempts. Gender, age and marital status and educational level are not related consistently to quit attempts or quit success across countries. © 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction. Source

Borland R.,VicHealth Center for Tobacco Control | Savvas S.,National Ageing Research Institute
Tobacco Control | Year: 2013

Objective To examine the extent (if any) that cigarette stick dimension, tipping paper design and other decorative design/branding have on Australian smokers' perceptions of those cigarettes. Methods An internet survey of 160 young Australian adult ever-smokers who were shown computer images of three sets of cigarette sticksdfive sticks of different lengths and diameters (set A), five sticks with different tipping paper design (set B) and four sticks of different decorative design (set C). Branding was a between-subjects randomised condition for set C. For each set, respondents ranked sticks on most and least attractive, highest and lowest quality and strongest and weakest taste. Results Cigarette sticks were perceived as different on attractiveness, quality and strength of taste. Standard stick length/diameter was perceived as the most attractive and highest quality stick, with men more inclined to rate a slim stick as less attractive. A stick with a cork-patterned tipping paper and a gold band was seen as most attractive, of highest quality and strongest in taste compared to other tipping designs. Branded sticks were seen as more attractive, higher in quality and stronger tasting than non-branded designs, regardless of brand, although the effects were stronger for a prestige compared with a budget brand. Conclusions Characteristics of the cigarette stick affect smokers' perceptions of the attributes of those cigarettes and thus are a potential means by which product differentiation can occur. A comprehensive policy to eliminate promotional aspects of cigarette design and packaging needs to include rules about stick design. Source

King B.,VicHealth Center for Tobacco Control
Tobacco control | Year: 2010

This study explored the extent to which Malaysian and Thai smokers believe "light" and menthol cigarettes are less harmful than "regular" cigarettes and the correlates of these beliefs. The study used data from wave 1 of the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia Survey. 2006 adult smokers (95.3% male) from Malaysia and 2000 adult smokers (94.5% male) from Thailand were interviewed face to face in 2005. 29% of Malaysian respondents reported currently smoking light cigarettes and 14% menthols, with 19% agreeing that lights are less harmful and 16% agreeing that menthols are less harmful. 38% of Thai respondents reported currently smoking light cigarettes and 19% menthols, with 46% agreeing that lights are less harmful and 35% agreeing that menthols are less harmful. Malaysian smokers reporting current use of light or menthol cigarettes were more likely to believe that they are less harmful. Reported use of lights did not relate to beliefs for Thai respondents. The belief that light and/or menthol cigarettes are less harmful was strongly related to the belief that they have smoother smoke. The experience of smoother smoke is likely to produce some level of belief in reduced harm, regardless of how brands are labelled and whether or not Federal Trade Commission FTC/International Organisation for Standardisation tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide yield figures are used. Source

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