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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 31–35 | Cite as

The Early 1990s Cigarette Price Decrease and Trends in Youth Smoking in Ontario

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  • Bronwen J. WallerEmail author
  • Joanna E. Cohen
  • Roberta Ferrence
  • Shelley Bull
  • Edward M. Adlaf
Article

Abstract

Background: Youth are especially vulnerable to fluctuations in cigarette price, and both the smuggling increase during the early 1990s and the 1994 tax decrease made purchasing easier for youth. The purpose of this study is to examine the relation between these price decreases, and trends in smoking prevalence and amount smoked among Ontario youth.

Methods: Data from the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey were analyzed for trend using: 1) polynomial regression, and 2) discontinuity regression with an “event time” of 1993 to capture effects of both pre-tax cut smuggling and the tax cut.

Results: Overall, smoking prevalence decreased from 1977 to 1993, jumped upward at this time, and decreased after 1993. Among daily smokers, mean number of cigarettes smoked daily showed an increase followed by a decrease over the 24 years, and a negative quadratic trend. Trends for subgroups are also reported.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the early 1990s cigarette price decrease may have played a role in increasing youth smoking in Ontario.

Résumé

Contexte: Les jeunes sont particulièrement vulnérables aux fluctuations du prix des cigarettes; or, l’augmentation de la contrebande au début des années 1990 et la réduction des taxes décrétée en 1994 ont facilité l’achat des cigarettes par les jeunes. On examine ici le lien entre ces baisses de prix et les tendances de la prévalence du tabagisme et du nombre de cigarettes fumées par les jeunes en Ontario.

Méthode: On a analysé les données du Sondage sur la consommation de drogues parmi les élèves de l’Ontario pour y déceler des tendances. On a procédé 1) par régression polynomiale et 2) par analyse de discontinuité de la régression pour l’année 1993 afin d’évaluer les effets de la contrebande avant la réduction de taxes, puis les effets de la réduction.

Résultats: Dans l’ensemble, la prévalence du tabagisme a diminué entre 1977 et 1993, est montée en flèche en 1993 et a baissé après 1993. Chez les fumeurs quotidiens, le nombre moyen de cigarettes fumées quotidiennement a augmenté, puis diminué au cours de la période de 24 ans et présente une tendance quadratique négative. Les tendances par sous-groupe sont également indiquées.

Conclusions: D’après ces constatations, la baisse du prix des cigarettes au début des années 1990 pourrait avoir joué un rôle dans l’augmentation du tabagisme des jeunes en Ontario.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bronwen J. Waller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joanna E. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberta Ferrence
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Shelley Bull
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Edward M. Adlaf
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Ontario Tobacco Research UnitUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoCanada
  3. 3.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Samuel Lunenfeld Research InstituteMount Sinai HospitalTorontoCanada

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