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Cigarettes point of purchase patterns in 19 low-income and middle-income countries: Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2008–2012
  1. Lazarous Mbulo1,
  2. Judy Kruger1,
  3. Jason Hsia1,
  4. Shaoman Yin1,
  5. Simone Salandy1,
  6. Elizabeth N Orlan2,
  7. Israel Agaku1,
  8. Kurt M Ribisl2
  1. 1 Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2 Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lazarous Mbulo, Global Tobacco Control Branch, Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA; vyp7{at}, lazarousmbulo{at}


Background There is little information on cigarette-purchasing behaviour among smokers globally. Understanding cigarette purchase and point-of-sale patterns can help guide the development and implementation of tobacco-control strategies in retail environments.

Objective The purpose of this study was to identify where adults in 19 countries last purchased cigarettes.

Methods Data were from 19 low-income and middle-income countries that conducted the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) during 2008–2012. GATS is a nationally representative household survey of adults aged 15 years or older using a standardised protocol to measure tobacco-related behaviours. Data were weighted to yield nationally representative estimates within each country and summarised by using descriptive statistics.

Results Overall prevalence of current cigarette smoking ranged from 3.7% in Nigeria to 38.5% in the Russian Federation. Among current cigarette smokers, locations of last purchase were as follows: stores, from 14.6% in Argentina to 98.7% in Bangladesh (median=66.8%); street vendors, from 0% in Thailand to 35.7% in Vietnam (median=3.0%); kiosks, from 0.1% in Thailand to 77.3% in Argentina (median=16.1%); other locations, from 0.3% in China and Egypt to 57.5% in Brazil (median=2.6%).

Conclusion Cigarettes are purchased at various retail locations globally. However, stores and kiosks were the main cigarette purchase locations in 18 of the 19 countries assessed. Knowledge of where cigarette purchases occur could help guide interventions to reduce cigarette accessibility and use.

  • low/middle income country
  • public policy
  • tobacco industry

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  • Contributors JK and JH designed the study; LM and SS managed the data; SS and SY analysed the data. JK, JH, LM, SS, SY, IA, KMR and ENO interpreted the data, drafted the work, approved the final draft and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding Funding for KMR and ENO’s contribution to this work was provided by grant number U01 CA154281 from the National Cancer Institute’s State and Community Tobacco Control Initiative.

  • Disclaimer The funders had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis, writing, or interpretation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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

  • Data sharing statement Global Adult Tobacco Survey datasets for all the 19 countries in the study are available at CDC website and open for public use: