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Tob Control. 2015 Jul;24 Suppl 3:iii71-iii75. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-052096. Epub 2015 Feb 20.

Effect of cigarette tax increase in combination with mass media campaign on smoking behaviour in Mauritius: findings from the ITC Mauritius Survey.

Author information

  • 1Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
  • 2Mauritius Institute of Health, Pamplemousses, Mauritius.
  • 3Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA WHO Collaborating Centre on the Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control Health Policy Center, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
  • 4Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mauritius has made great strides in adopting evidence-based tobacco control measures, including an increase in its cigarette excise tax and antitobacco mass media (Sponge) campaign. The primary objective of this study is to examine the combined effect of these measures on smoking behaviour.

METHODS:

This study used longitudinal data from the International Tobacco Control Mauritius Survey, 2009-2011. Waves 1 and 2 were conducted before the tax increase and wave 3 was conducted shortly after the Sponge campaign and 6 months after the cigarette excise tax increase. Generalised estimating equations were used to examine the effects of these two key tobacco control measures on smoking prevalence and the quantity of cigarettes smoked.

RESULTS:

The results showed that the combination of cigarette tax increase and the Sponge campaign had a significantly negative effect on the prevalence of smoking in Mauritius and the number of cigarettes smoked among continuing smokers. Specifically, the measures significantly reduced the odds of being a smoker (adjusted OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.97). For average daily cigarettes smoked, the measures had a significant reduction in cigarettes per day by about 6% (incidence rate ratios 0.94, 95% CI 0.89 to 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS:

The combination of policy measures significantly reduced the consumption of cigarettes in Mauritius. While these results are encouraging, these efforts must be part of a sustained effort to further reduce the smoking prevalence in Mauritius.

KEYWORDS:

Denormalization; Prevention; Priority/special populations; Public policy; Taxation

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