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Effect of cigarette tax increase in combination with mass media campaign on smoking behaviour in Mauritius: findings from the ITC Mauritius Survey
  1. Sunday Azagba1,2,
  2. Premduth Burhoo3,
  3. Frank J Chaloupka4,5,6,
  4. Geoffrey T Fong7,8,9
  1. 1Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Mauritius Institute of Health, Pamplemousses, Mauritius
  4. 4Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  5. 5WHO Collaborating Centre on the Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control
  6. 6Health Policy Center, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  7. 7Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  8. 8Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  9. 9School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sunday Azagba, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1; sazagba{at}uwaterloo.ca

Abstract

Background Mauritius has made great strides in adopting evidence-based tobacco control measures, including an increase in its cigarette excise tax and antitobacco mass media (Sponge) campaign. The primary objective of this study is to examine the combined effect of these measures on smoking behaviour.

Methods This study used longitudinal data from the International Tobacco Control Mauritius Survey, 2009–2011. Waves 1 and 2 were conducted before the tax increase and wave 3 was conducted shortly after the Sponge campaign and 6 months after the cigarette excise tax increase. Generalised estimating equations were used to examine the effects of these two key tobacco control measures on smoking prevalence and the quantity of cigarettes smoked.

Results The results showed that the combination of cigarette tax increase and the Sponge campaign had a significantly negative effect on the prevalence of smoking in Mauritius and the number of cigarettes smoked among continuing smokers. Specifically, the measures significantly reduced the odds of being a smoker (adjusted OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.97). For average daily cigarettes smoked, the measures had a significant reduction in cigarettes per day by about 6% (incidence rate ratios 0.94, 95% CI 0.89 to 0.99).

Conclusions The combination of policy measures significantly reduced the consumption of cigarettes in Mauritius. While these results are encouraging, these efforts must be part of a sustained effort to further reduce the smoking prevalence in Mauritius.

  • Prevention
  • Public policy
  • Priority/special populations
  • Denormalization
  • Taxation
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