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NAQC Newsroom: Research

A Cross-sectional Examination of What Smokers Perceive to be Important and Their Willingness to Pay

Tuesday, February 16, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Dube SR, Pesko MF, Xu X.
A Cross-sectional Examination of What Smokers Perceive to be Important and Their Willingness to Pay for Tobacco Cessation Medications.
J Public Health Manag Pract. 2016 Jan-Feb;22(1):48-56. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000338.
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States, and smoking cessation has multiple health benefits. The purpose of this study was to assess cigarette smokers' perceived importance toward characteristics of tobacco cessation medications using a willingness-to-pay approach. Cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2008 HealthStyles survey, a mail-based probability sample of 5399 adults aged 18 years and older. Point estimates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated overall and by sociodemographic and smoking behavior characteristics. Multivariate Probit regression analysis was used to evaluate smokers' willingness to pay in relation to perceived importance of 3 cessation medication characteristics: convenience of use, over-the-counter availability, and efficiency to help quit. All models controlled for sociodemographic characteristics, smoking behavior characteristics, and US regional fixed effects. A total of 914 current cigarette smokers. The main outcome measures were: Interest in quitting, interest in using cessation medications, and willingness to pay for 6 types of cessation medications.
Approximately 68.4% of current cigarette smokers were interested in quitting. Among these individuals, 45.6% indicated that they were interested in using cessation medications, and of these, 47.3% indicated that they were willing to pay $150 or more out-of-pocket for these medications. Convenience of use and the effectiveness of these medications to help quit were positively associated with current smokers' willingness to pay for $300 or more (P < .05); however, no association was observed for over-the-counter availability. Self-reported exposure to telephone quitline advertisements was also positively associated with the willingness to pay. Approximately 68% of current smokers are interested in quitting, and about half of those smokers interested in quitting are also interested in using cessation medications. Convenience of use and the medication's effectiveness are important characteristics of cessation medication for smokers with quit intentions. Understanding preferences for these cessation medication characteristics may help inform smoking cessation efforts.

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