Students would rather quit smoking than pay more for cigarettes
University students in New Zealand would be more likely to quit smoking if the price of cigarettes increases, a University of Canterbury (UC) study suggests.
Health Sciences PhD student Ben Wamamili surveyed 2,180 university students to find out how increases in the price of cigarettes would affect smoking behaviour.
Health Sciences PhD student Ben Wamamili conducted the research as part of his thesis, which is assessing the prevalence and patterns of cigarette smoking and e-cigarette use (vaping) in university students in New Zealand, and perceptions on the Smokefree 2025 goal.
He surveyed 2,180 students from New Zealand’s eight universities in March to May 2018, of which 187 qualified as current smokers, meaning they smoked at least once a month. The study asked participants how their smoking intentions would change if the price of a packet of their regular cigarettes, or roll your own (RYO) tobacco, was increased by $5, $10, $15, or more than $15.
Wamamili found that increasing numbers of students would smoke less cigarettes and switch to vaping, or quit smoking altogether as prices increase.
“The findings suggest that cigarette price increases of $15 or more per packet above the annual 10% tobacco tax increases could lead to significant reductions in smoking and potentially help New Zealand achieve its Smokefree 2025 goal,” Wamamili says.