Introduction: Given that little is known about the cigarette brand preferences of youth, the current study seeks to characterize cigarette brand preferences and examine factors associated with smoking discount or native cigarette brands among Canadian youth who are current smokers.
Methods: This study used nationally representative data collected from 71,003 grade 5 to 12 students as part of the 2006-07 Canadian Youth Smoking Survey (YSS). Using data from current smokers, we examined the characteristics associated with smoking discount or native cigarette brands relative to smoking premium cigarette brands.
Results: In 2006, premium cigarettes were the most prevalent brand of cigarette youth report usually smoking (49.4%); a substantial number of youth do report usually smoking either discount (12.9%, n=20,700) or native (9.3%, n=15,000) cigarette brands. Occasional smokers were more likely to report usually smoking premium cigarettes whereas daily smokers were more likely to report smoking either discount or native cigarettes. In particular, discount and native brands appear to be appealing among smoking youth with less spending money or those who are heavier smokers compared to youth smoking premium brands.
Conclusion: Discount and native cigarette brands are commonly used by a substantial number of smoking youth in Canada. Additional research is required to better understand the reasons behind different cigarette brand preferences and how youth are able to access premium, discount and illicit native cigarettes. Moreover, ongoing surveillance of the cigarette brand preferences of youth is required for guiding future tobacco control policy and programming activities.
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