Price sensitivity and smoking smuggled cigarettes

Jie-Min Lee; Sheng-Hung Chen; Hsin-Fan Chen; Huei-Yann Joann Jeng
February 2009
European Journal of Public Health;Feb2009, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p23
Academic Journal
Background: This study analysed the socio-economic factors that influence a smoker's decision to consume smuggled cigarettes when faced with the rising costs of legal cigarettes. We hope our findings will help public health authorities create policies that simultaneously discourage consumption of smuggled cigarettes and lower overall smoking levels. Methods: We conducted a national telephone survey from April to June 2004. We then applied Multiple Logistic Regression to the collected data to answer the following questions: do socio-economically disadvantaged smokers differ significantly in their characteristics? If so, which characteristics are most influential in the decision to purchase smuggled cigarettes? Results: Smokers with a personal monthly income of less than New Taiwan dollar (NT$) 10000 are 24% more likely to smoke smuggled cigarettes than are smokers who earn NT$10 000 or more. Smokers with the least amount of education are 21% more likely to smoke smuggled cigarettes than those with higher levels of education. Smokers with the most experience purchasing smuggled cigarettes are 31% more likely to do so than those with less experience. Finally, smokers who have a personal monthly income of less than NT$10000 and the least amount of education are 54% more likely to smoke smuggled cigarettes than those with just one--or none--of these characteristics. Conclusion: Low-income, poorly-educated smokers are most likely to purchase smuggled cigarettes. To alter such behaviour, government must understand the motivations and opinions of this population and create marketing messages targeted specifically to their needs.


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