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Comprehensive tobacco control policies and the smoking behaviour of Canadian adults
  1. Thomas Stephensa,
  2. Linda L Pedersonb,
  3. John J Kovalc,
  4. Jennifer Macnabc
  1. aOntario Tobacco Research Unit/Thomas Stephens & Associates, Manotick, Ontario, Canada, bCDC/NCCDPDHP, Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, cDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  1. Dr Thomas Stephens, Ontario Tobacco Research Unit/Thomas Stephens & Associates, 1118 John Street, Box 837, Manotick, Ontario Canada K4M 1A7tstephens{at}


OBJECTIVE To examine the associations of cigarette prices, restrictions on public smoking, and health education with the odds of adult smoking and amount smoked daily.

DESIGN Multi-level analysis of adult (age 25+) smoking patterns in Canada's National Population Health Survey, after adding administrative data on prices, bylaws, and health education according to the survey respondent's place of residence.

SETTING/SUBJECTS Population based sample of Canadians age 25+ in households (n = 14 355).

OUTCOME MEASURES Smoking status, amount consumed daily.

ANALYSIS Logistic regression for smoking status, multiple regression for amount smoked, with controls for age, education, marital status; separate analyses for men and women.

RESULTS Cigarette prices were positively associated with the odds of being a non-smoker and negatively with amount smoked, for adults of both sexes. Per capita health education expenditures were positively associated with the odds of being a non-smoker and negatively with amount smoked—formen but not women. The restrictiveness of municipal bylaws limiting public smoking was positively associated with the odds of being a non-smoker and negatively with amount smoked—forwomen but not men. These results are independent of age, education, and marital status.

CONCLUSIONS To be effective, tobacco control must comprise a mix of strategies as men and women respond differently to health education and restrictions on public smoking; taxation, reflected in higher cigarette prices, is the only one of these measures related to smoking for both sexes. This model permits calculations of the level of increase in each measure that is required to reduce the prevalence of smoking by a specified amount.

  • bylaws
  • education
  • policy
  • taxes

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