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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-30

'Loose' cigarettes association with intensity of smoking: A secondary data analysis from Global Adult Tobacco Survey, India, 2009-10

1 Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, New Delhi, India
2 School of Business, Mohali Campus, Punjab, India
3 Medical Consultant, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
4 Senior Consultant, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Mitasha Singh
Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi - 110 062
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-5009.202540

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Context: Raising tax on tobacco products is one of the key tobacco control strategies. Globally, it has led to decrease in overall cigarette consumption but on the other hand contributed to increased sale and purchase of loose cigarettes. These loose cigarettes have many important public health implications. Aim: To assess the association between practice of buying loose cigarettes and intensity of smoking. Materials and Methods: A secondary analysis of Global Adult Tobacco Survey, India 2009–2010 data was performed in May 2014, on adult population age 15 years and above. The key outcome variable was “intensity of smoking” defined as average number of cigarettes smoked per day, whereas the key exposure variable was “practice of purchasing loose cigarettes.” Descriptive statistical analysis was performed using EpiData software (version and STATA version 12.1. Results: Nearly, 57% of current cigarette smokers (approximately 3.46 million) bought loose cigarettes. The proportion of buying loose cigarettes decreased with increasing level of education and wealth index as well as least among government employees. The intensity of smoking was 70% less among loose cigarette buyers than nonbuyers (odds ratio [OR]: 0.29, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.24–0.34). It was found to be significantly lower in rural areas (OR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.68–0.97) and among homemakers and those who had formal schooling. Conclusion: This study showed that loose cigarette buying is associated with decreased in smoking intensity. This may be due to increased taxes leading to increased buying of single cigarettes. These findings, therefore, highlight a need for a comprehensive policy and further studies on loose cigarette selling.

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