The latest company to jump into the fray by covering the tobacco tax hike and quitting smoking were DIMSDRIVE Research.
Between the 6th and 21st of October 2010 5,170 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 58.0% of the sample were female, 14.2% in their twenties, 36.8% in their thirties, 33.8% in their forties, 13.3% in their fifties, and 1.9% aged sixty or older.
In Q2SQ2, how much cheaper a pack people switched to, the average was over 100 yen a pack; given the tax rise was about 100 yen, they cancel themselves out, but as far as I am aware almost brands are within 40 or 50 yen of each other, so I don’t really know how people managed to save over 100 yen, unless they were talking about per case of 200 or some other bulk-buying.
At two of my favourite restaurants the number of smokers has dropped to either none or just one group recently, although I don’t know how much that has to do with the rise in duty.
Q1: Have you ever smoked? (Sample size=5,170)
No, never 62.0% Used to smoke, but gave up not because of the price rise 11.7% Quit, cut down before the price rise on account of the price rise (to SQ1) 3.7% Quit, cut down after the price rise on account of the price rise (to SQ1) 4.2% Plan to quit, cut down (to SQ1) 10.2% Don’t plan to quit, cut down 8.2%
Q1SQ1: Will you quit or cut down smoking? (Sample size=935)
Started by 9/30 Started from 10/1 Plan to start Have, will quit (to SQ2) 68.1% 59.4% 49.1% Will cut down only 31.9% 40.6% 50.9%
Q1SQ2: About how many cigarettes per day have you, do you plan to cut down by? (Sample size=417)
One or two 7.4% Three or four 12.7% Five to nine 38.2% Ten to fourteen 34.5% Fifteen to nineteen 1.9% Twenty or more 5.3%
On average, people were going to cut down by 7.4 ciggies per day.
The next question is for those smokers who decided to or plan to quit because of the price rise, or who have no intention of quitting.
Q2: Did you stock up or switch to a cheaper brand because of the price rise? (Sample size=1,357, multiple answer)
Stocked up before the price rise (to SQ1) 53.6% Switched to a cheaper brand (to SQ2) 3.5% Didn’t do anything 43.9%
Q2SQ1: About how many packs of cigarettes did you stock up? (Sample size=727)
Up to nine packs 17.3% Ten to nineteen packs 15.7% Twenty to twenty-nine packs 10.6% Thirty to thirty-nine packs 13.8% Forty to forty-nine packs 5.6% Fifty to ninety-nine packs 16.0% 100 to 199 packs 13.1% 200 or more packs 7.4% Don’t know 0.6%
The average was 72.8 packs, which is most likely the arithmetic mean; the median value would be between 30 and 39 packs.
Q2SQ2: How much cheaper a brand did you switch to? (Sample size=47)
50 yen or less cheaper 23.4% 51 to 100 yen cheaper 17.0% 101 to 150 yen cheaper 23.4% 151 yen or more cheaper 19.1% Don’t know 17.0%
The mean price difference was 109.7 yen.
The next question was for those who currently or used to smoke.
Q3: Have you ever attended a smoking cessation out-patients clinic? (Sample size=1,962)
Currently attending or have attended 3.3% Not attended, but rather interested 7.4% Not attended, but a little interested 21.8% Not attended and not interested 67.5%
The final question was for those who didn’t plan to quit or cut down. Last year the question was asked to all smokers, so one cannot really make a direct comparison.
Q4: At what price per pack would you completely quit smoking? (Sample sizes=422 and 2,660)
Under 500 yen 1.9% 12.3% 500 yen 15.9% 34.8% 501 to 600 yen 7.1% 9.3% 601 to 700 yen 1.9% ?? 701 to 999 yen 31.3% 22.3% 1,000 yen 3.1% 5.3% 1,001 to 1,500 yen 2.4% — 2,000 yen 4.0% — Won’t quit however expensive 30.1% 10.8%