UC researchers calculate the cost of smoking

With the price of cigarettes caused by increase again on New Year’s Day, University of Canterbury scientists are examining ratings of smokers regarding the price of their smoking today and their smoking objectives in 2013 and beyond, as the price of cigarettes is constantly on the boost every year.

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Woman wanting to inhale cigarette smoke

University of Canterbury postgraduate psychology student Aimee Richardson will examine the outcomes from identical surveys in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin and on the internet. Richardson is focusing on a summer studentship to finish the research.

Her supervisor University of Canterbury Professor Randolph Grace said that he considered it was the first study in New Zealand to request smokers of their future smoking objectives when considering cigarette price.

“The study group will as well request how much the cost of cigarettes has to raise before most smoking people give up and whether, after smoking an electronic cigarette, smokers think they would give up any sooner or not.

“Richardson will have the responses from the study later in 2013. Her responses could have an effect on how much government taxes cigarettes in future and whether sales of electronic cigarettes should be allowed,’’ Professor Grace stated.

The study is being financed by Christchurch-based End Smoking NZ Trust, with a grant from the Canterbury Community Trust and the University of Canterbury.

Primary outcomes will be shown to an international study conference in Boston in March and to the government by April.

Even though smoking has dropped in recent times, 17% of adult people still are smokers, as outlined by the Ministry of Health’s most recent yearly report. One in six of all deaths in New Zealand are because of smoking, reported by Dr Murray Laugesen, chair of End Smoking NZ.

Those dying of smoking die 14 years earlier on average than non-smokers of the same age.

Professor Grace said that he planned to carry on the study in 2013 to find if smokers’ objectives continue to be the same over time.


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