Beliefs about the Relative Harm of “Light” and “Low Tar” Cigarettes: Findingsfrom the ITC China Survey

Authors  Elton-Marshall, T., Fong, G. T., Zanna, M. P., Jiang, Y., Hammond, D., O’Connor, Yong, H., Li, L, Borland, R., Cummings, K. M., Driezen, P..
Date  July 14, 2010
Publication Link Tobacco Control, 19(Suppl2), i54-i62.http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/19/Suppl_2/i54.full.pdf
Research Category  Descriptors
Country  China
Citation  Citation: Elton-Marshall, T., Fong, G. T., Zanna, M. P., Jiang, Y., Hammond, D., O’Connor, R. J., et al.(2010). Beliefs about the Relative Harm of “Light” and “Low Tar” Cigarettes: Findingsfrom the ITC China Survey. Tobacco Control, 19(Suppl2), i54-i62.
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Abstract
Abstract
Background Many smokers in Western countries perceive “light” or “low tar” cigarettes as less harmful and less addictive than “regular” or “full flavoured” cigarettes. However, there is little research on whether similar perceptions exist among smokers in low and middle incomes, including China.
Objective To characterise beliefs about “light” and “low tar” cigarettes among adult urban smokers in China.
Methods We analysed data from Wave 1 of the ITC China Survey, a face-to-face household survey of 4732 adult Chinese smokers randomly selected from six cities in China in 2006. Households were sampled using a stratified multistage design.
Findings Half (50.0%) of smokers in our sample reported having ever tried a cigarette described as “light,” “mild” or “low tar”. The majority of smokers in our sample (71%) believed that “light” and/or “low tar” cigarettes are less harmful compared to “full flavoured” cigarettes. By far the strongest predictor of the belief that “light” and/or “low tar” cigarettes are less harmful was the belief that “light” and/or “low tar” cigarettes feel smoother on the respiratory system (p<0.001, OR=53.87, 95% CI 41.28 to 70.31).
Conclusion Misperceptions about “light” and/or “low tar” cigarettes were strongly related to the belief that these cigarettes are smoother on the respiratory system. Future tobacco control policies should go beyond eliminating labelling and marketing that promotes “light” and “low tar” cigarettes by regulation of product characteristics (for example, additives, filter vents) that reinforce perceptions that “light” and “low tar” cigarettes are smoother on the respiratory system and therefore less harmful.

Posted on July 14, 2010, in Borland, Ron Papers, China, Cummings, K M - Papers, Descriptors - Research, Driezen, P. - Paper, Elton-Marshall, T. - Papers, Fong, Geoffrey papers, Hammond, David Papers, Jiang, Y. - Papers, King, Brian Papers, Li, Lin - Papers, Li, Q - Paper, O'Connor, R. Papers, Yong, H - Papers, Zanna, M.P. - Papers. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Beliefs about the Relative Harm of “Light” and “Low Tar” Cigarettes: Findingsfrom the ITC China Survey.

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