260477 Who purchases cheaper cigarettes in China? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tingting Yao , Institute for Health&Aging, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Hai-Yen Sung, PhD , Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Michael Ong, MD, PhD , Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Zhengzhong Mao , Huaxi School of Public Health, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
Yuan Jiang , National Tobacco Control Office, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
Geoffrey T. Fong, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Wendy Max, PhD , Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Low-priced cigarettes constitute a major challenge to public health throughout the world. The goals of this study were (1) to identify factors associated with purchasing cheaper cigarettes (according to self-report) among smokers (age ≥18) in China, and (2) to compare cigarette price elasticities among smokers who purchase cheaper cigarettes with elasticities among smokers who do not. Data were analyzed from Wave 3 of the ITC China Survey, conducted in 2009 among smokers in China (N=5,883). One survey question asked, “Have you purchased cheaper cigarettes in the past six months?” Socio-demographics included age, gender, marital status, education, income, and employment status. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured by a combination of education and income. Factors associated with purchasing cheaper cigarettes were analyzed using logistic regression model. Price elasticities were estimated by semi-log models for cigarette consumption with cigarette prices and income as independent variables. 10.6% of smokers reported purchasing cheaper cigarettes. After controlling for other covariates, low SES smokers were more likely to purchase cheaper cigarettes than high SES smokers (19.4% vs.8.2%; OR=2.36, 95%CI=1.66-3.35).The cigarette consumption models showed that smokers who purchase cheaper cigarettes have higher price elasticity than those who do not (-0.35 vs.-0.14).Our findings indicate that tobacco control policies that ultimately increase prices could have greater effect on reducing cigarette consumption among low SES smokers in China. Moreover, these findings point to the failure of 2009 tobacco tax increase in China as a public health policy because it has not yet resulted in any price increase.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
• Discuss purchasing cheaper cigarettes among adult smokers in China; • Analyze the association between purchasing cheaper cigarettes and socio-demographic characteristics for adults. • Compare cigarette price elasticity among smokers who purchase cheaper cigarettes and those who do not.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in the field of tobacco control since 2006. My research focuses on the intervention of passive smoking and economic cost estimation of smoking
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.