More than half of recent quitters say that cigarette price helped them quit smoking, according to research released today.
Cigarette cost, anti-smoking campaigns and public smoking bans hold the key to quitting according to the Cancer Council Victoria study identifying what aids recent quitters found to be helpful at each stage of the quitting process.
The price of cigarettes was found to be helpful by 53% of recent quitters during any stage of the quitting process, followed closely by anti-smoking TV campaigns (51%), and public smoking bans (47%).
Key results broken down by quitting stage include:
- Cigarette cost was cited by the most recent quitters as being helpful in making the decision to quit and while they were trying to quit
- Public smoking bans were cited by the greatest percentage of recent quitters as being helpful to stay quit.
- Anti-smoking campaigns were the second-most nominated quitting aid in helping recent quitters make the decision to quit, and the third-most nominated aid in helping them while they were trying to quit and in staying quit.
Executive Director of Quit, Ms Fiona Sharkie, said the finding that the cost of cigarettes is a highly motivating factor in the quitting process supports evidence that increasing the cost of cigarettes is one of the most effective strategies for reducing tobacco use.
"Increasing the price of cigarettes is the most effective intervention that the government can make in reducing smoking rates, but there has been no real price increase in Australia in almost ten years."
"With tobacco claiming 15 000 Australians lives and costing the community $31.5 billion dollars every year, it is essential that cost increases to cigarettes are implemented as soon as possible in order to help smokers make the decision to quit, and help recent quitters stay quit."
Ms Sharkie said the fact smokers nominated anti-smoking campaigns and smoking bans as helpful in the quitting process underlined the importance of a tobacco control program that considers exposure to anti-smoking mass media and smokefree policies, as well as the affordability of cigarettes.
Recommendations contained in the report of the Preventative Health Taskforce including an increase in the cost of cigarettes and sustained funding for anti-smoking media campaigns are currently being considered by the Commonwealth Government.