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Cumulative cigarette discount coupon exposure and trajectories of cigarette smoking: a longitudinal analysis in US adults


Introduction Exposure to cigarette discount coupons is associated with short-term increase in cigarette smoking; however, long-term impact is unclear. This study examined associations of cumulative exposure to cigarette coupons with trajectories of cigarette smoking in US adults.

Methods Data were from the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study Adult Surveys (n=19 824; waves 2–5). We examined the number of waves participants received cigarette discount coupons/promotions during waves 2–4 and smoking behaviours at wave 5. Weighted logistic multivariable regression models were used, adjusting for wave 2 demographics and stratified by wave 2 smoking status.

Results Among wave 2 adults who never smoked, each increment wave of exposure to cigarette discount coupons was associated with greater odds of wave 5 current smoking (adjusted OR (aOR)=2.09, 95% CI 1.24–3.52). Among wave 2 adults who smoked daily, each wave of coupon exposure was associated with lower odds of quitting smoking at wave 5 (aOR=0.67, 95% CI 0.62—0.73). Among wave 2 adults who had quit smoking, each increment wave of exposure was associated with greater odds of wave 5 current smoking (aOR=1.61, 95% CI 1.41—1.85). Additionally, women (vs men) and adults with lower socioeconomic status (SES) (vs higher SES) were more frequently exposed to cigarette coupons for a higher number of waves (p<0.05).

Discussion Exposure to cigarette coupons exhibited a dose–response relationship with changes in cigarette smoking behaviours over time, promoting smoking progression and hindering smoking cessation especially among women and people with lower SES. Prohibiting these coupons can be an important tobacco control strategy.

  • addiction
  • disparities
  • nicotine

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository.

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