International Tobacco Policy Survey

Abstract

The broad objective of the proposed project is to evaluate and understand the psychosocial and behavioral effects of several national-level tobacco control policies that are scheduled or likely to be implemented in at least one of the four largest English-speaking countries — United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia — over the next three years. In a prospective cohort design, the participants are 2,000+ adult smokers in each country (total N=9,013) who respond to a 45-minute telephone survey every 8 months for 5 years. The ITC survey had its successful launch in fall 2002 and second wave in summer 2003, and funds are being requested to continue support for years 3-5. The survey includes measures of smoking behavior, psychosocial predictors of smoking and quitting, and policy-relevant variables in five major policy domains:

  1. enhancement of warning labels
  2. elimination or restriction of the terms “light” or “mild” as cigarette brand descriptors
  3. elimination or restrictions on advertising and promotion of tobacco products
  4. changes in price and taxatio
  5. alternative nicotine products (e.g., products that heat, rather than burn, tobacco). The quasi-experimental design includes both between-country controls and within-country controls and will thus allow rigorous tests of national-level policies that heretofore have not been systematically evaluated.

There are 7 specific aims:

  1. to examine whether a policy introduced in one country will affect self-reported smoking behavior, in comparison to other countries where that policy is not changing
  2. to examine whether a policy introduced in one country will enhance policy-relevant psychosocial variables, that is, those that are closely related to the policy, in comparison to other countries where that policy is not changing
  3. to examine whether a policy introduced in one country will lead to enhance levels of psychosocial variables known to be related to smoking and quitting behavior, in comparison to other countries where that policy is not changing
  4. to examine whether the effects of tobacco control policies may be offset by compensatory behaviors (e.g., price increases leading to shifts toward discount brands rather than to quitting)
  5. to examine whether the effects of tobacco control policies are moderated by situational and individual-difference factors
  6. to identify the psychosocial mechanisms that may explain how tobacco control policies achieve (or fail to achieve) their goals
  7. to identify similarities and differences across the four countries in the factors that relate to smoking and cessation.

This project has considerable time urgency because of the recently adopted Framework Convention on Tobacco Control–the first-ever international treaty on health–which will obligate over 190 countries (over 90% of the world’s population) to tobacco control policies that will be evaluated by this project—and has the potential to inform future tobacco control policies throughout the world. Dr. Chaloupka will take the lead, as he has in the first period of funding, in the ITC Project’s evaluation of the price/taxation policy component, and will also contribute to the evaluation efforts in other policy domains.

Affiliated Center/Program

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health through a subcontract from University of Waterloo.

Start date
04/01/2009
End date
07/31/2014
Total award
$66,059
About this grant

This work is part of a larger study, International Tobacco Policy Survey, funded by the National Cancer Institute (Grant No. NIH 2R01-CA100362) and directed by Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong at University of Waterloo.

Related publications


Shang C, Chaloupka FJ, Zahra N, Fong GT. The distribution of cigarette prices under different tax structures: findings from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project. Tob Control. 2014 Mar;23 Suppl 1:i23-i29.

Licht AS, Hyland AJ, O'Connor RJ, Chaloupka FJ, Borland R, Fong GT, Nargis N, Cummings KM. How do price minimizing behaviors impact smoking cessation? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 May;8(5):1671-91.

Ross H, Blecher E, Yan L, Hyland A. Do cigarette prices motivate smokers to quit? New evidence from the ITC survey. Addiction. 2011 Mar;106(3):609-19.

Licht AS, Hyland AJ, O'Connor RJ, Chaloupka FJ, Borland R, Fong GT, Nargis N, Cummings KM. Socio-economic variation in price minimizing behaviors: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Jan;8(1):234-52.

Ross H, Driezen P, Sirirassamee B, Kin F. Cigarette purchasing behaviour in Thailand and Malaysia: comparative analysis of a semi-monopolistic and a free-market structure. Glob Public Health. 2009;4(6):588-99.