Cigarette consumption and sales of nicotine replacement products
- aSchool of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA, bKaiser Permanente Medical Group, California, USA
- Professor The-Wei Hu, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 412 Warren Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA;
BACKGROUND The first nicotine replacement product, Nicorette Gum, was marketed in 1984 as an adjuvant to help smokers quit smoking. In 1992, sales of nicotine patches were begun. Before 1996, nicotine gums and nicotine patches were prescribed by physicians and supplemented with behavioural counselling. Since 1996, nicotine gums and patches became available over the counter.
OBJECTIVES To examine the effect of sales of nicotine replacement products on national cigarette consumption.
DESIGN National time series quarterly cigarette consumption, sales of nicotine gums and patches data between 1976 and 1998 are used to estimate a time series autoregressive moving average intervention model.
PARTICIPANTS National reported statistics.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Per capita cigarette sales.
RESULTS A 10% increase in sales of nicotine replacement products will lead to a 0.04% reduction in cigarette sales. The model indicates that a 0.076% reduction in cigarette consumption is associated with the availability of nicotine patches after 1992. The over the counter dummy variable (after 1996) has a negative sign, but is not significant, perhaps due to only a few quarters of data in the study period.
CONCLUSIONS Nicotine replacement products (nicotine gums and nicotine patches) play a significant role in reducing cigarette consumption, in addition to the negative effect of increasing cigarette price and the overall trend of declining cigarette consumption (as reflected by the time trend variable). The findings of this study suggest that additional efforts for promoting sales of nicotine replacement products will be another effective alternative to discouraging cigarette consumption.