BackgroundWe assessed whether the Australian plain packs with larger graphic health warnings (GHWs) achieved three specific objectives of reducing the appeal of tobacco, increasing health warning effectiveness and reducing the ability of packaging to mislead about smoking harms.MethodsWe compared responses from continuous cross-sectional telephone surveys of n=2176 cigarette smokers during pre-plain packaging (April–September 2012, pre-PP) with n=759 surveyed in the transition period (October–November 2012) and n=4240 during the first year of implementation (December 2012–November 2013, PP year 1), using multivariate logistic regression analyses.ResultsFrom pre-PP to PP year 1, more smokers disliked their pack (p<0.001), perceived lower pack appeal (p<0.001), lower cigarette quality (p<0.001), lower satisfaction (p<0.001) and lower value (p<0.001) and disagreed brands differed in prestige (p=0.003). There was no change in perceived differences in taste of different brands. More smokers noticed GHWs (p<0.001), attributed much motivation to quit to GHWs (p<0.001), avoided specific GHWs when purchasing (p<0.001), and covered packs (p<0.001), with no change in perceived exaggeration of harms. PP year 1 saw an increased proportion believing that brands do not differ in harmfulness (p=0.004), but no change in the belief that variants do not differ in strength or the perceived harmfulness of cigarettes compared with a year ago. Interactions signified greater change for four outcomes assessing aspects of appeal among young adults and two appeal outcomes among mid-aged adults.ConclusionsThe specific objectives of plain packaging were achieved and generally sustained among adult smokers up to 12 months after implementation.
There is emerging research examining alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms within regional and rural Australia. All studies show that these populations experience disproportionate harm because of alcohol consumption. The causes and mechanism for this have not been investigated, and a program of research is required to understand how and why rural populations experience disproportionate levels of alcohol-related harm and ultimately, what interventions will be most effective in reducing alcohol-related harms.
Purpose-There are inconsistent research findings regarding the impact of rurality on adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substance use. Therefore, the current study reports on the effect of rurality on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use among adolescents in 2 state representative samples in 2 countries, Washington State (WA) in the United States and Victoria (VIC) in Australia.
Participants-TheInternational Youth Development Study (IYDS) recruited representative samples of students from Grade 7 (aged 12 to 13 years) and Grade 9 (aged 14 to 15) in both states. A total of 3,729 students responded to questions about alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other illicit substance use (n VIC = 1,852; n WA = 1,877). In each state, males and females were equally represented and ages ranged from 12-15-years.Methods-Data were analyzed to compare lifetime and current (past 30 days) substance use for students located in census areas classified as urban, large or small town, and rural. Findings were adjusted for school clustering and weighted to compare prevalence at median age 14 years.Findings-Rates of lifetime and current alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use were significantly higher in rural compared to urban students in both states (odds ratio for current substance use = 1.31).
Conclusions-In both WashingtonState and Victoria, early adolescent rural students use substances more frequently than their urban counterparts. Future studies should examine factors that place rural adolescents at risk for alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use.
BackgroundPlain packaging (PP) with larger graphic health warnings (GHWs) was implemented in Australia in late 2012. This study examined effects of these packaging changes on short-term changes in quitting-related cognitions and behaviours.MethodsWe used a series of cohorts of Australian adult cigarette smokers originally sourced from a nationally representative cross-sectional tracking survey, followed up approximately 1 month after their baseline interview (n(weighted)=5441). Logistic regression analyses compared changes in seven quitting-related outcomes over this 1-month follow-up period for the cohorts surveyed before PP, over the period of transition to PP, and during the first year of PP, adjusting for baseline levels of the outcome and covariates.ResultsCompared to the referent group of smokers who completed their follow-up survey pre-PP, those who were followed-up in the early transition period showed significantly greater increases in rates of stopping themselves from smoking (OR=1.51, 95% CI (1.08 to 2.10)) and higher quit attempt rates (OR=1.43, 95% CI (1.00 to 2.03)), those followed-up in the late transition period showed greater increases in intentions to quit (OR=1.42, 95% CI (1.06 to 1.92)) and pack concealment (OR=1.55, 95% CI (1.05 to 2.31)), and those followed-up in the first year of PP showed higher levels of pack concealment (OR=1.65, 95% CI (1.01 to 2.72)), more premature stubbing out of cigarettes (OR=1.55, 95% CI (1.01 to 2.36)), and higher quit attempt rates (OR=1.52, 95% CI (1.01 to 2.30)).ConclusionsThese findings provide some of the strongest evidence to date that implementation of PP with larger GHWs was associated with increased rates of quitting cognitions, microindicators of concern and quit attempts among adult cigarette smokers.
The data suggest that mandatory interventions based on trading hours restrictions were associated with reduced emergency department injury presentations in high-alcohol hours than voluntary interventions.
There is no discernible long-term impact on alcohol-related ED attendances of the lockout intervention in Ballarat. As such, other interventions may be more appropriate to reduce alcohol-related ED attendances.
BackgroundThere is limited research on awareness of alcohol warning labels and their effects. The current study examined the awareness of the Australian voluntary warning labels, the ‘Get the facts’ logo (a component of current warning labels) that directs consumers to an industry-designed informational website, and whether alcohol consumers visited this website.MethodsParticipants aged 18–45 (unweighted n = 561; mean age = 33.6 years) completed an online survey assessing alcohol consumption patterns, awareness of the ‘Get the facts’ logo and warning labels, and use of the website.ResultsNo participants recalled the ‘Get the facts’ logo, and the recall rate of warning labels was 16 % at best. A quarter of participants recognised the ‘Get the facts’ logo, and awareness of the warning labels ranged from 13.1–37.9 %. Overall, only 7.3 % of respondents had visited the website. Multivariable logistic regression models indicated that younger drinkers, increased frequency of binge drinking, consuming alcohol directly from the bottle or can, and support for warning labels were significantly, positively associated with awareness of the logo and warning labels. While an increased frequency of binge drinking, consuming alcohol directly from the container, support for warning labels, and recognition of the ‘Get the facts’ logo increased the odds of visiting the website.ConclusionsWithin this sample, recall of the current, voluntary warning labels on Australian alcohol products was non-existent, overall awareness was low, and few people reported visiting the DrinkWise website. It appears that current warning labels fail to effectively transmit health messages to the general public.
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