A cross-sectional survey of experts' opinions about the relative effectiveness of tobacco control strategies for the general population versus disadvantaged groups: what do we choose in the absence of evidence?

Christine L. Paul, Heidi Turon, Billie Bonevski, Jamie Bryant, Patrick McElduff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: There is a clear disparity in smoking rates according to social disadvantage. In the absence of sufficiently robust data regarding effective strategies for reducing smoking prevalence in disadvantaged populations, understanding the views of tobacco control experts can assist with funding decisions and research agendas. Methods. A web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted with 192 respondents (response rate 65%) sampled from the Australian and New Zealand Tobacco Control Contacts list and a literature search. Respondents were asked to indicate whether a number of tobacco control strategies were perceived to be effective for each of: the general population; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; those with a low income; and people with a mental illness. Results: A high proportion of respondents indicated that mass media and increased tobacco taxation (84% and 89% respectively) were effective for the general population. Significantly lower proportions reported these two strategies were effective for sub-populations, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (58% and 63% respectively, p's <.0001). Subsidised medication was the only strategy associated with a greater proportion of respondents perceiving it to be effective in disadvantaged sub-populations compared to the general population. Tailored quit programs and culturally relevant programs were nominated as additional effective strategies for disadvantaged populations. Conclusions: Views about subsidised medications in particular, suggest the need for robust cost-effectiveness data relevant to disadvantaged groups to avoid wastage of scarce tobacco control resources. Strategies perceived to be effective for disadvantaged populations such as tailored or culturally relevant programs require rigorous evaluation so that potential adoption of these approaches is evidence-based.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1144
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Expert opinion
  • Indigenous health
  • Low income population
  • Mental illness
  • Smoking cessation
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Vulnerable populations

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