Spain: Educated Women Quit Smoking When Cigarette Cost Increases

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A new study focused on analyzing smoking habits in response to public policy has revealed highly educated women quit smoking when cigarette cost increases. The study published in Addictive Behaviors analyzed the effects that both price and images displayed on the cigarette packets had on female smokers in Spain in terms of quitting smoking.

Highly educated women more sensitive to cigarette cost

The study, overseen by two sister researchers at the University of Zaragoza, tracked policy actions and the tobacco consumption patterns of Spanish women. The researchers, Ana Isabel Gil-Lacruz and Marta Gil-Lacruz, noticed a trend in tobacco consumption in Spain: even as more male smokers were putting the habit down, the pool of female smokers continued to grow. As policy interventions have continually changed, the study focused on differing education levels and the generational difference between smoking women.

While educated women between 15 and 60 were the largest demographic of female smokers, when cigarette cost increase, more women in this category quit smoking. Lower educated women, however, were not affected by price as much as they were by the pictures on the cigarette packets.

Anti-smoking campaigns should increase cigarette cost and use pictorial labels

For anti-smoking campaigns to work among female smokers of varied educational levels, the researchers in this study believe both increased cigarette costs and the use of pictures on cigarette packets should be implemented to reduce tobacco consumption.

The Gil-Lacruz sister researchers cited the main determining factor for female smokers comes from a generational difference. The sisters explained that depending on when the woman was born, she was subject to a different generation’s marketing strategies, policy interventions, and cultural changes that affected her behavior and beliefs about smoking. Taking all of these factors into account, female smokers of different ages have varying attitudes and ideas about smoking.

More Effective Anti-Smoking Campaigns by Differentiating Smoking Habits

The researchers believe in order to create more effective anti-smoking campaigns, policymakers must keep in mind generational differences in smoking habits. To effectively target the wide variance of female smokers, multiple strategies must be used concurrently and be included in the national policy.