Introduction Tobacco endgame strategies aim to drive down population smoking rates, the success of which can be improved with public buy-in, including from populations with high smoking rates such as alcohol and other drug (AOD) service clients. This study aimed to explore acceptability of tobacco retail and nicotine reduction, and subsidised nicotine vaping to support AOD service clients following a smoking cessation attempt.
Methods We interviewed 31 Australian AOD service clients who currently or previously smoked, following a 12-week randomised trial comparing nicotine replacement therapy with nicotine vaping product (NVP) for smoking cessation. Participants were asked how effectively three scenarios would support tobacco cessation: tobacco retailer reduction, very low-nicotine cigarette standard and subsidised NVP access. We thematically analysed participant views on how each approach would support tobacco abstinence.
Results Tobacco retailer reduction raised concerns about increasing travel and accessing cigarettes from alternate sources, with generally lower acceptability, though a range of perspectives were provided. Reducing nicotine in tobacco products was described as reducing appeal of smoking and potentially increasing illicit purchases of non-reduced nicotine products. Clients of AOD services were highly accepting of subsidised NVP access for tobacco cessation, as this would partly address financial and socioeconomic barriers.
Conclusions Australian tobacco control policy should consider how these approaches impact ease and likelihood of tobacco access by AOD service clients in relation to the general population. Understanding clients’ acceptability of tobacco control and endgame measures can inform how to avoid potential unintended consequences for these clients.
- Electronic nicotine delivery devices
- End game
- Priority/special populations
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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Contributors Conceptualisation—JT, BB and CEG. Methodology—BB, JT and CEG. Formal analysis—JT, EW, JR and BB. Resources—BB. Data curation—JR and JT. Writing (original draft)—JT, JR and BB. Writing (review and editing)—JR, BB, EW and CEG. Supervision—BB. Project administration—BB, JR and JT. Funding acquisition—BB and CEG. JT accepts responsibility for the work and conduct of this study.
Funding This study was funded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; grant GNT1160245), with CEG and JT also supported by NHMRC (grant GNT1198301).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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