Introduction: Tobacco tax policies have been proven to be effective in reducing tobacco consumption, but their impact can be mitigated through price-minimizing behaviours among smokers. This study explored the purchase sources of tobacco products and the price paid for tobacco products in six EU member states. Methods: Data from Wave 1 of the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Survey collected from nationally representative samples of adult smokers in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spain (ITC 6E Survey) were used. The ITC 6E Survey sample, conducted in 2016, randomly sampled 6011 adult cigarette smokers aged 18 years or older. Information on purchase sources of tobacco was examined by country. The difference in reported purchase price by purchase location (store vs non-store/other) was analysed using linear regression for each country. Results: Tobacco purchasing patterns and sources varied widely between countries. Non-store/other purchases were very rare in Hungary (0.1%) while these types of purchases were more common in Germany (5.1%) and Poland (8.6%). Reported prices of one standard pack of 20 cigarettes were highest in Germany (4.80€) and lowest in Hungary (2.45€). While nonstore purchases were only made by a minority of smokers (>10% in all countries), the price differential was considerable between store and non-store/other sources, up to 2€ per pack in Greece and in Germany. Conclusions: The results suggest a huge variation of purchasing sources and price differentials between store and non-store purchasing sources across the six EU member states examined. While the cross-sectional data precludes any causal inference, supply chain control through licensing as introduced in Hungary and the lack of such measures in the other countries might nevertheless be a plausible explanation for the large differences in the frequency of non-store purchases observed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA16
JournalTobacco Induced Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Price paid for tobacco
  • Purchase sources of tobacco products
  • Reducing the number of purchase sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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