Objective Determine (1) trends in single cigarette availability and purchasing in Mexico and (2) the association between neighbourhood access to singles and cessation behaviour among adult Mexican smokers.
Methods We analysed data from Wave 4 (2010), Wave 5 (2011) and Wave 6 (2012) of the Mexican International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey. We used data from all three waves to examine time trends in singles availability and purchasing. To explore the association between neighbourhood access to singles and cessation behaviour, we used data from participants who were smokers at Wave 5 and followed up at Wave 6 (n=1272).
Findings The percentage of participants who saw singles sold daily (45.2% in 2010; 51.4% in 2011; 64.9% in 2012), who bought singles at least once a week (22.3% in 2010; 29.1% in 2011; 29.1% in 2012) and whose last cigarette purchase was a single (16.6% in 2010; 20.7% in 2011; 25.8% in 2012) increased significantly from 2010 to 2012 (all p<0.001). The average percentage of residents who reported seeing singles sold daily in their neighbourhood in 2012 was 60% (SD=25%). In adjusted analyses, smokers living in neighbourhoods with higher access to singles were less likely to make a quit attempt (risk ratio (RR)=0.72; 95% CI 0.46 to 1.12), and more likely to relapse (RR=1.30; CI 0.94 to 1.82), but these results were not statistically significant.
Conclusions Single cigarettes appear widely accessible in Mexico and growing in availability. Future research should explore potential explanations, consequences and effective methods for reducing the availability of single cigarettes.
- Low/Middle income country
- Public policy
- Illegal tobacco products
- Global health
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