Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Tobacco purchasing in Australia during regular tax increases: findings from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project


Objective We examined Australian tobacco purchasing trends, the average self-reported price paid within each purchase type and the association between type of tobacco product purchased and participant characteristics, including quit intentions, between 2007 and 2020.

Methods We analysed data collected from adults who smoked factory-made and/or roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes in nine waves (2007–2020) of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project Australia Survey (nsample=5452, nobservations=11 534). The main outcome measures were type of tobacco products purchased: RYO, carton, pack or pouch size and brand segment. Logistic regression, fit using generalised estimating equations, was estimated the association between the outcome and participant characteristics.

Results The reported price-minimising purchasing patterns increased from 2007 to 2020: any RYO (23.8–43.9%), large-sized pack (2007: 24.0% to 2016: 34.3%); shifting from large-sized to small-sized packs (2020: 37.7%), and economy brand (2007: 37.2% to 2020: 59.3%); shifting from large (2007: 55.8%) to small economy packs (2014: 15.3% to 2020: 48.1%). Individuals with a lower income, a higher nicotine dependence level and no quit intention were more likely to purchase RYO and large-sized packs.

Conclusion RYO, large-sized packs and products with a low upfront cost (eg, small RYO pouches and small-sized economy brand packs) may appeal to people on low incomes. Australia’s diverse tobacco pack and pouch sizes allow the tobacco industry to influence tobacco purchases. Standardising pack and pouch sizes may reduce some price-related marketing and especially benefit people who have a low income, are highly addicted and have no quit intention.

  • Taxation
  • Price
  • Economics
  • Hand-rolled/RYO tobacco
  • Socioeconomic status

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Data from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project are available to eligible researchers 2 years after the ITC Data Management Centre issues cleaned data sets. Researchers who want to use ITC data must first seek for permission by completing an International Tobacco Control Data Repository (ITCDR) request application and then sign an ITCDR Data Usage Agreement. To avoid any real, potential or perceived conflict of interest between researchers who use ITC data and tobacco-related entities, no ITCDR data will be provided directly or indirectly to any researcher, institution or consultant who is currently receiving grant funds or in-kind contributions from any tobacco manufacturer, distributor or other tobacco-related entity. The data usage approval criteria and the contents of the Data Usage Agreement are described online (

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.