'Stopping the start': support for proposed tobacco control policies - a population-based survey in Great Britain 2021-2023

Vera Helen Buss, Lion Shahab, Linda Bauld, Loren Kock, Hazel Cheeseman, Jamie Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVES: This study assessed public support for four proposed tobacco control policies in Great Britain: (1) Raising the sales age of tobacco by 1 year every year (Smokefree Generation); (2) Raising the sales age of tobacco from 18 years to 21 years; (3) Providing prescription e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids to adults who smoke; (4) Restricting e-cigarette advertising to prevent youth uptake.

DESIGN: Repeat cross-sectional population-based survey weighted to match the population of Great Britain.

SETTING: The survey was conducted in England, Scotland and Wales in September 2021, October 2022 and October 2023.

PARTICIPANTS: 6541 adults living in Great Britain.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Support for each policy and year and prevalence ratios (PRs) comparing support between years and subgroups.

RESULTS: The most popular policy each year was restricting e-cigarette advertising (74%/79%/85%), followed by raising the sales age to 21 years (50%/58%/64%), providing prescription e-cigarettes (45%/44%/47%) and Smokefree Generation (34%/44%/49%). The largest increases were for policies about the age of sale (Smokefree Generation: 2021/2022 PR=1.28, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.40, 2022/2023 PR=1.12, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.20; raising the age to 21 years: 2021/2022 PR=1.16, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.23, 2022/2023 PR=1.11, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.17). Only 30% opposed Smokefree Generation in 2023 down from 41% in 2021.

CONCLUSIONS: Support for each policy increased each year, except for providing prescription e-cigarettes. Restricting e-cigarette advertising was the most popular policy, while support for age of sale policies, in particular for a Smokefree Generation, grew most.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study protocol was published on the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/46z2c/) prior to starting the analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalTobacco Control
Early online date12 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2024


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