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Cigarette brand preference as a function of price among smoking youths in Canada: are they smoking premium, discount or native brands?
  1. S T Leatherdale1,2,3,
  2. R Ahmed4,
  3. A Barisic1,
  4. D Murnaghan5,6,
  5. S Manske2,7
  1. 1
    Department of Population Studies and Surveillance, Cancer Care Ontario, Canada
  2. 2
    Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Canada
  3. 3
    Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada
  4. 4
    Population Health Research Group, University of Waterloo, Canada
  5. 5
    School of Nursing, University Prince Edward Island, Canada
  6. 6
    PEI Health Research Institute, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
  7. 7
    Centre for Behavioural Research and Evaluation, Canadian Cancer Society/National Cancer Institute of Canada, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Scott T Leatherdale, Department of Population Studies and Surveillance, Cancer Care Ontario, 620 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 2L7; scott.leatherdale{at}


Introduction: Given that little is known about the price-related cigarette brand preferences of youths, the current study seeks to characterise cigarette brand preferences and examine factors associated with smoking discount or native cigarette brands among Canadian youths who are current smokers.

Methods: This study used nationally representative data collected from 71 003 grade 5–12 students as part of the 2006–7 Canadian Youth Smoking Survey (YSS). Using data from current smokers, logistic regression models were used to examine factors associated with smoking discount or native cigarette brands relative to premium cigarette brands.

Results: In 2006, premium cigarettes were the most prevalent brand of cigarette youths report usually smoking (49.4%); a substantial number of youths do report usually smoking either discount (12.9%) or native (9.3%) 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 youths with less spending money or those who are heavier smokers compared to youths smoking premium brands.

Conclusion: Discount and native cigarette brands are commonly used by a substantial number of smoking youths in Canada. Additional research is required to better understand the reasons behind different cigarette brand preferences and how youths are able to access premium, discount and illicit native cigarettes. Moreover, ongoing surveillance of the cigarette brand preferences of youths is required for guiding future tobacco control policy and programming activities.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.