With the rise in cigarette prices of approximately 100 yen per pack of twenty, adding roughly a third onto the price of the average brand, many smokers took this as an opportunity to quit. This recent survey from Macromill Research doesn’t look at what percentage quit, but instead focuses on how the quitters are coping.
Over the 1st and 2nd of November 2010 500 members of the Macromill monitor group who had resolved to stop smoking following the tobacco price rise in October completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 68.4% were male, 12.8% in their twenties, 33.2% in their thirties, 31.8% in their forties, and 22.2% aged fifty or older.
I suppose it’s a good sign that at least some people are quitting, although looking at Q1 and from tales from smokers, relapses can happen at unexpected times, so after a month free from smoking one cannot really say one has kicked the habit. Furthermore, with the end of year party season coming up, thus placing the quitters around people smoking and around drink, the second and third greatest temptations according to Q3SQ1, the risk of relapse will be pretty high, I fear.
Q1: Including this time, how many times have you tried to stop smoking? (Sample size=500)
|Ten or more times||4.8%|
Q2: Why did you think you ought to quit in October? (Sample size=500, multiple answer)
|Large price rise||92.4%||92.7%||91.8%|
|Number of smokers around me had decreased||26.6%||26.3%||27.2%|
|Family, partner recommended I quit||24.8%||25.7%||22.8%|
|Smoking areas were decreasing||22.2%||23.7%||19.0%|
|For beauty reasons||11.4%||2.3%||31.0%|
|Friends, colleagues recommended I quit||5.6%||6.1%||4.4%|
|On doctor’s instructions||4.0%||5.6%||2.5%|
|Because I had a child||2.8%||2.6%||3.2%|
|Work recommended I quit||2.0%||2.3%||1.3%|
Interestingly, the decrease in smoking spaces only affected an eighth of those in their twenties but increasing with age up to a third of those in their fifties.
Q3: Are you still tobacco free? (Sample size=500)
|Yes, not smoked at all (to SQ2 onwards)||62.2%||60.5%||65.8%|
|Smoked a few, but still trying to quit (to SQ1 onwards)||17.6%||15.5%||22.2%|
|No, quit quitting (to SQ1)||20.2%||24.0%||12.0%|
More older people had fallen off the wagon, with 24.3% of the over-fifties back to their old habit. However, although almost the same percentage of two packs a day or more people had restarted, 73.1% had managed to quit completely. Those with spouses or other family members who smoked were also more less than average to have managed to resist temptation.
For those who had given in to temptation, 1.1% didn’t manage a day, 4.8% two days, 10.6% three days, and 24.3% four days.
Q3SQ1: What situations found you gasping for a cigarette? (Sample size=189, multiple answer)
|When someone beside me was smoking||30.2%||31.1%||27.8%|
|When I came across some cigarettes I’d bought before||11.1%||7.4%||20.4%|
|Unconsciously started smoking||10.1%||11.9%||5.6%|
|Fell into the habit of having a cigarette on waking||6.9%||6.7%||7.4%|
|When driving, stuck in a traffic jam||3.2%||4.4%||0.0%|
Q3SQ2: What do you do to keep yourself from smoking? (Sample size=399, multiple answer)
|Suck on a sweet, chew gum to keep my mouth busy||47.6%||46.5%||49.6%|
|Drink lots of water||13.8%||13.5%||14.4%|
|Use electronic cigarettes||11.5%||13.1%||8.6%|
|Getting treatment from hospital||7.8%||8.8%||5.8%|
|Use a quit smoking pipe||6.3%||6.2%||6.5%|
|Use a nicotine patch||5.3%||6.2%||3.6%|
|Use nicotine gum||5.0%||5.8%||3.6%|
|Attend quit smoking therapy, lectures||0.5%||0.8%||0.0%|
|Don’t do anything||36.3%||37.3%||34.5%|
Q3SQ3: How much have you spent on items related to quitting smoking in the last month? (Sample size=399)
|Under 500 yen||1.3%||1.2%||1.4%|
|500 to 999 yen||4.0%||3.8%||4.3%|
|1,000 to 1,999 yen||13.0%||11.2%||16.5%|
|2,000 to 2,999 yen||5.5%||5.0%||6.5%|
|3,000 to 3,999 yen||11.8%||10.4%||14.4%|
|4,000 to 5,999 yen||1.0%||1.2%||0.7%|
|5,000 to 9,999 yen||14.3%||16.5%||10.1%|
|10,000 yen or more||6.0%||6.5%||5.0%|
The average spend was 2,188 yen; men spent 2,311 yen, women 1,959 yen.
Q3SQ4: Are you confident that you can continue to be smoke free? (Sample size=399)
Q4: When you weren’t smoking, what did you think was/is the time you most want to smoke? (Sample size=500)
|After a meal||20.8%||20.5%||21.5%|
|When drinking alcohol||19.4%||20.2%||17.7%|
|When I have free time||12.8%||12.9%||12.7%|
|When drinking coffee||3.0%||2.3%||4.4%|
Those who had fallen off the wagon found after meals the hardest time. but those still resisting (or mostly resisting) find when annoyed or when drinking the most tempting.
Finally, there was a couple of demographic tables comparing those who continue to try to stop versus those who had given up.
D1: Sex versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)
D2: Age versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)
| ||Twenties||Thirties||Forties||Fifty or older|
D3: Smoking history versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)
| ||Less than 5 years||5 to 10 years||More than 10 years|
D4: Daily smokes versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)
| ||Less than 20||20 to 39||40 or more|