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Tobacco endgame and priority populations: a scoping review


Aim To summarise the research literature on the impacts or perceptions of policies to end tobacco use at a population level (ie, tobacco endgame policies) among people from eight priority population groups (experiencing mental illness, substance use disorders, HIV, homelessness, unemployment or low incomes, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex (LGBTQI+) or who have experienced incarceration).

Methods Guided by JBI Scoping Review Methodology, we searched six databases for original research examining the impacts or perceptions of 12 tobacco endgame policies among eight priority populations published since 2000. We report the results according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews checklist.

Results Of the 18 included studies, one described perceptions of five endgame policies among people on low incomes in Aotearoa (New Zealand), and 17 focused on the effectiveness or impacts of a very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarette standard among people experiencing mental illness (n=14), substance use disorders (n=8), low incomes (n=6), unemployment (n=1) or who identify as LGBTQI+ (n=1) in the USA. These studies provide evidence that VLNC cigarettes can reduce tobacco smoking, cigarette cravings, nicotine withdrawal and nicotine dependence among these populations.

Conclusions Most of the tobacco endgame literature related to these priority populations focuses on VLNC cigarettes. Identified research gaps include the effectiveness of endgame policies for reducing smoking, impacts (both expected and unexpected) and policy perceptions among these priority populations.

  • End game
  • Priority/special populations
  • Co-substance use
  • Public policy

Data availability statement

All data are from published sources. Some included publications are available in open access format (open access journal or open access author archived version in institutional repository). However, others may only be available via subscription-based journals.

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