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A Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) survey found that smokers strongly support the development of less-addictive cigarettes. In the nationally representative survey, 678 smokers were asked about their attitudes toward the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and the results were published in the journal BMC Public Health.1

The survey, known as the International Tobacco Control (ITC) United States Supplemental Survey, was conducted between November 2009 and January 2010 and included the following results:

  • 71% of respondents were unaware of the authority of the FDA to regulate tobacco;

  • 67% supported reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes if nicotine was available in non-cigarette form;

  • 67% indicated support for banning cigarette advertising, promotion, and marketing activities; and

  • 41% would support a law that would ban additives and flavoring that make cigarettes seem less harsh.

Andrew Hyland, PhD, chair of the department of health behavior at RPCI, notes that the baseline data were gathered shortly after the law was passed and before specific regulatory measures were enacted. The amount of support for specific policy measures helps inform policy development and the continuing need to educate smokers and the general public about the new law, he adds.

The survey began in 2002 and has been conducted nearly annually along with ITC surveys in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. These also are part of the global ITC Project, which is surveying more than 20 countries to evaluate tobacco control policies, including raising tobacco taxes, banning tobacco advertising and promotion, and enacting smoke-free laws.

Dr. Hyland and his colleagues are comparing their survey data with those of other countries to understand the potential of US policies to reduce tobacco use throughout the world.

Reference

  • 1
    Fix BV, O'Connor RJ, Fong GT, Borland R, Cummings KM, Hyland A. Smokers' reactions to FDA regulation of tobacco products: findings from the 2009 ITC United States survey. BMC Public Health. 2011; 11: 941.