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What cigarette price is required for smokers to attempt to quit smoking? Findings from the ITC Korea Waves 2 and 3 Survey
  1. Eun-Ja Park1,
  2. Susan Park2,
  3. Sung-il Cho3,
  4. Yeol Kim4,5,
  5. Hong Gwan Seo5,
  6. Pete Driezen6,
  7. Anne C K Quah6,
  8. Geoffrey T Fong6,7,8
  1. 1Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University and Nursing Science Research Institute, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  3. 3Graduate School of Public Health and Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  4. 4Division of Cancer Management & Policy, National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of Korea
  5. 5Center for Cancer Prevention and Detection, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of Korea
  6. 6Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  8. 8School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sung-il Cho, Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health, #1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea; scho{at}


Objectives We assess the cigarette price that would motivate smokers to quit. We also explore the factors associated with the required price, including exposures to non-tax tobacco control policies.

Methods Cross-sectional analysis was conducted on data from 1257 male smokers, who participated in either Wave 2 or 3 of the ITC Korea Survey. Information was obtained on what cigarette price per pack would make them try to quit (‘price to quit’). Tobit regression on log-transformed price and logistic regression on non-quitting were conducted to identify associated factors.

Results The median price to quit was KRW5854 (US$5.31)/pack, given the current price of KRW2500 (US$2.27)/pack. Younger age, higher education, lack of concern about the health effects of smoking, lack of quit attempts and more cigarettes consumed per day were related to a higher price needed for a quit attempt. Exposures to combinations of non-tax policies were significantly associated with lower price levels to be motivated to quit.

Conclusions Considering the large price increase required for quit attempts, tax policy needs to be combined with other policies, particularly for certain groups, such as heavy smokers. Strengthening non-tax policies is likely to facilitate greater responsiveness to tax policy.

  • Addiction
  • Public policy
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Taxation
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