Smokers’ strategies across social grades to minimise the cost of smoking in a period with annual tax increases: Evidence from a national survey in England

Emma Beard, Anna Gilmore, Robert West, jamie brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives To assess associations between smokers' strategies to minimise how much their smoking costs and cost of smoking among smokers across three social grades during a period of annual tax increases in England. Design Repeat cross-sectional. Setting England, May 2012-December 2016. Participants 16 967 adult smokers in 56 monthly surveys with nationally representative samples. Measures and analysis Weighted generalised additive models assessed associations between four cost-minimising strategies (factory-made and roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette consumption levels, illicit and cross-border purchases) and cost of smoking (£/week). We adjusted for inflation rate, age, gender and secular and seasonal trends. Results Cost of smoking did not increase above the rate of inflation. Factory-made cigarette consumption decreased, while proportion of RYO and, to a much lesser extent, illicit and cross-border purchases increased. These trends were only evident in lowest social grade. Cost of smoking was 12.99% lower with consumption of 10 fewer factory-made cigarettes (95% CI -13.18 to -12.80) and 5.86% lower with consumption of 10 fewer RYO cigarettes (95% CI -5.66 to -6.06). Consumption levels accounted for 60% of variance in cost. Cross-border and illicit tobacco purchases were associated with 9.64% (95% CI -12.94 to -6.33) and 9.47% (95% CI -12.74 to -6.20) lower costs, respectively, but due to low prevalence, accounted for only 0.2% of variation. Associations were similar across social grades, although weaker for illicit and cross-border purchases and stronger for consumption in higher social grades compared with lower social grades. Conclusion During a period of annual tax increases, the weekly cost of smoking did not increase above inflation. Cost-minimising strategies increased, especially among more disadvantaged smokers. Reducing cigarette consumption and switching to RYO tobacco explained a large part of cost variation, while use of illicit and cross-border purchasing played only a minor role.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere026320
Pages (from-to)e026320
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number6
Early online date25 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019

Cite this

Smokers’ strategies across social grades to minimise the cost of smoking in a period with annual tax increases: Evidence from a national survey in England. / Beard, Emma; Gilmore, Anna; West, Robert; brown, jamie .

In: BMJ Open, Vol. 9, No. 6, e026320, 25.06.2019, p. e026320.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Smokers’ strategies across social grades to minimise the cost of smoking in a period with annual tax increases: Evidence from a national survey in England",
abstract = "Objectives To assess associations between smokers' strategies to minimise how much their smoking costs and cost of smoking among smokers across three social grades during a period of annual tax increases in England. Design Repeat cross-sectional. Setting England, May 2012-December 2016. Participants 16 967 adult smokers in 56 monthly surveys with nationally representative samples. Measures and analysis Weighted generalised additive models assessed associations between four cost-minimising strategies (factory-made and roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette consumption levels, illicit and cross-border purchases) and cost of smoking (£/week). We adjusted for inflation rate, age, gender and secular and seasonal trends. Results Cost of smoking did not increase above the rate of inflation. Factory-made cigarette consumption decreased, while proportion of RYO and, to a much lesser extent, illicit and cross-border purchases increased. These trends were only evident in lowest social grade. Cost of smoking was 12.99{\%} lower with consumption of 10 fewer factory-made cigarettes (95{\%} CI -13.18 to -12.80) and 5.86{\%} lower with consumption of 10 fewer RYO cigarettes (95{\%} CI -5.66 to -6.06). Consumption levels accounted for 60{\%} of variance in cost. Cross-border and illicit tobacco purchases were associated with 9.64{\%} (95{\%} CI -12.94 to -6.33) and 9.47{\%} (95{\%} CI -12.74 to -6.20) lower costs, respectively, but due to low prevalence, accounted for only 0.2{\%} of variation. Associations were similar across social grades, although weaker for illicit and cross-border purchases and stronger for consumption in higher social grades compared with lower social grades. Conclusion During a period of annual tax increases, the weekly cost of smoking did not increase above inflation. Cost-minimising strategies increased, especially among more disadvantaged smokers. Reducing cigarette consumption and switching to RYO tobacco explained a large part of cost variation, while use of illicit and cross-border purchasing played only a minor role.",
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T1 - Smokers’ strategies across social grades to minimise the cost of smoking in a period with annual tax increases: Evidence from a national survey in England

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AU - West, Robert

AU - brown, jamie

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N2 - Objectives To assess associations between smokers' strategies to minimise how much their smoking costs and cost of smoking among smokers across three social grades during a period of annual tax increases in England. Design Repeat cross-sectional. Setting England, May 2012-December 2016. Participants 16 967 adult smokers in 56 monthly surveys with nationally representative samples. Measures and analysis Weighted generalised additive models assessed associations between four cost-minimising strategies (factory-made and roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette consumption levels, illicit and cross-border purchases) and cost of smoking (£/week). We adjusted for inflation rate, age, gender and secular and seasonal trends. Results Cost of smoking did not increase above the rate of inflation. Factory-made cigarette consumption decreased, while proportion of RYO and, to a much lesser extent, illicit and cross-border purchases increased. These trends were only evident in lowest social grade. Cost of smoking was 12.99% lower with consumption of 10 fewer factory-made cigarettes (95% CI -13.18 to -12.80) and 5.86% lower with consumption of 10 fewer RYO cigarettes (95% CI -5.66 to -6.06). Consumption levels accounted for 60% of variance in cost. Cross-border and illicit tobacco purchases were associated with 9.64% (95% CI -12.94 to -6.33) and 9.47% (95% CI -12.74 to -6.20) lower costs, respectively, but due to low prevalence, accounted for only 0.2% of variation. Associations were similar across social grades, although weaker for illicit and cross-border purchases and stronger for consumption in higher social grades compared with lower social grades. Conclusion During a period of annual tax increases, the weekly cost of smoking did not increase above inflation. Cost-minimising strategies increased, especially among more disadvantaged smokers. Reducing cigarette consumption and switching to RYO tobacco explained a large part of cost variation, while use of illicit and cross-border purchasing played only a minor role.

AB - Objectives To assess associations between smokers' strategies to minimise how much their smoking costs and cost of smoking among smokers across three social grades during a period of annual tax increases in England. Design Repeat cross-sectional. Setting England, May 2012-December 2016. Participants 16 967 adult smokers in 56 monthly surveys with nationally representative samples. Measures and analysis Weighted generalised additive models assessed associations between four cost-minimising strategies (factory-made and roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette consumption levels, illicit and cross-border purchases) and cost of smoking (£/week). We adjusted for inflation rate, age, gender and secular and seasonal trends. Results Cost of smoking did not increase above the rate of inflation. Factory-made cigarette consumption decreased, while proportion of RYO and, to a much lesser extent, illicit and cross-border purchases increased. These trends were only evident in lowest social grade. Cost of smoking was 12.99% lower with consumption of 10 fewer factory-made cigarettes (95% CI -13.18 to -12.80) and 5.86% lower with consumption of 10 fewer RYO cigarettes (95% CI -5.66 to -6.06). Consumption levels accounted for 60% of variance in cost. Cross-border and illicit tobacco purchases were associated with 9.64% (95% CI -12.94 to -6.33) and 9.47% (95% CI -12.74 to -6.20) lower costs, respectively, but due to low prevalence, accounted for only 0.2% of variation. Associations were similar across social grades, although weaker for illicit and cross-border purchases and stronger for consumption in higher social grades compared with lower social grades. Conclusion During a period of annual tax increases, the weekly cost of smoking did not increase above inflation. Cost-minimising strategies increased, especially among more disadvantaged smokers. Reducing cigarette consumption and switching to RYO tobacco explained a large part of cost variation, while use of illicit and cross-border purchasing played only a minor role.

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DO - 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026320

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