Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications

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    The impact of quitting smoking on depressive symptoms: findings from the International Tobacco Control Four-Country Survey
    Cooper, J ; Borland, R ; Yong, H-H ; Fotuhi, O (WILEY, 2016-08)
    AIMS: To determine whether abstinence or relapse on a quit attempt in the previous year is associated with current depressive symptoms. DESIGN: Prospective cohort with approximately annual waves. Mixed-effect logistic regressions tested whether time 2 (T2) quitting status was associated with reporting symptoms at T2, and whether time 1 (T1) symptoms moderated this relationship. SETTING: Waves 5-8 of the Four-Country International Tobacco Control Study: a quasi-experimental cohort study of smokers from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 6978 smokers who participated in telephone surveys. MEASUREMENTS: T1 and T2 depressive symptoms in the last 4 weeks were assessed with two screening items from the PRIME-MD questionnaire. Quitting status at T2: (1) no attempt since T1; (2) attempted and relapsed; and (3) attempted and abstinent at T2. FINDINGS: Compared with no attempt, relapse was associated with reporting T2 symptoms [odds ratio (OR) = 1.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.33, 1.59]). Associations between T2 quitting status and T2 symptoms were moderated by T1 symptoms. Relapse was associated positively with T2 symptoms for those without T1 symptoms (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.45, 2.03) and those with T1 symptoms (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.23, 1.70). Abstinence was associated positively for those without T1 symptoms (OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.71) and negatively for those with T1 symptoms (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.94). Age moderated these associations significantly. Relapse did not predict T2 symptoms for those aged 18-39 irrespective of T1 symptoms. The negative effect of abstinence on T2 symptoms for those with T1 symptoms was significant only for those aged 18-39 (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.94) and 40-55 (OR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.40, 0.84). The positive effect of abstinence on T2 symptoms for those without T1 symptoms was significant only for those aged more than 55 (OR =1.97, 95% CI = 1.35, 2.87). CONCLUSIONS: Most people who stop smoking appear to be at no greater risk of developing symptoms of depression than if they had continued smoking. However, people aged more than 55 who stop smoking may be at greater risk of developing symptoms of depression than if they had continued smoking.
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    Depression motivates quit attempts but predicts relapse: differential findings for gender from the International Tobacco Control Study
    Cooper, J ; Borland, R ; McKee, SA ; Yong, H-H ; Dugue, P-A (WILEY, 2016-08)
    AIMS: To determine whether signs of current depression predict attempts to quit smoking, and short-term abstinence among those who try, and to test moderating effects of gender and cessation support (pharmacological and behavioural). DESIGN: Prospective cohort with approximately annual waves. Among smokers at one wave we assessed outcomes at the next wave using mixed-effects logistic regressions. SETTING: Waves 5-8 of the Four Country International Tobacco Control Study: a quasi-experimental cohort study of smokers from Canada, USA, UK and Australia. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 6811 tobacco smokers who participated in telephone surveys. MEASUREMENTS: Three-level depression index: (1) neither low positive affect (LPA) nor negative affect (NA) in the last 4 weeks; (2) LPA and/or NA but not diagnosed with depression in the last 12 months; and (3) diagnosed with depression. Outcomes were quit attempts and 1-month abstinence among attempters. FINDINGS: Depression positively predicted quit attempts, but not after controlling for quitting history and motivational variables. Controlling for all covariates, depression consistently negatively predicted abstinence. Cessation support did not moderate this effect. There was a significant interaction with gender for quit attempts (P = 0.018) and abstinence (P = 0.049) after controlling for demographics, but not after all covariates. Depression did not predict abstinence among men. Among women, depressive symptoms [odds ratio (OR) = 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.49-0.81] and diagnosis (OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.34-0.63) negatively predicted abstinence. CONCLUSIONS: Smokers with depressive symptoms or diagnosis make more quit attempts than their non-depressed counterparts, which may be explained by higher motivation to quit, but they are also more likely to relapse in the first month. These findings are stronger in women than men.
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    Introduction effects of the Australian plain packaging policy on adult smokers: a cross-sectional study
    Wakefield, MA ; Hayes, L ; Durkin, S ; Borland, R (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013)
    OBJECTIVE: To determine whether smokers smoking from packs required under Australia's plain packaging law had different smoking beliefs and quitting thoughts, compared with those still smoking from branded packs. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey during the roll-out phase of the law, analysed by timing of survey. SETTING: Australian state of Victoria, November 2012. PARTICIPANTS: 536 cigarette smokers with a usual brand, of whom 72.3% were smoking from a plain pack and 27.7% were smoking from a branded pack. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Perceived quality and satisfaction of cigarettes compared with 1 year ago, frequency of thoughts of smoking harm, perceived exaggeration of harms, frequency of thoughts of quitting, quitting priority in life, intention to quit, approval of large graphic health warnings and plain packaging. RESULTS: Compared with branded pack smokers, those smoking from plain packs perceived their cigarettes to be lower in quality (adjusted OR (AdjOR)=1.66, p=0.045), tended to perceive their cigarettes as less satisfying than a year ago (AdjOR=1.70, p=0.052), were more likely to have thought about quitting at least once a day in the past week (AdjOR=1.81, p=0.013) and to rate quitting as a higher priority in their lives (F=13.11, df=1, p<0.001). Plain pack smokers were more likely to support the policy than branded pack smokers (AdjOR=1.51, p=0.049). Branded and plain pack smokers did not differ on measures of less immediate smoking intentions, frequency of thoughts about harms or perceived exaggeration of harms. Appeal outcomes, but not other outcomes, were sensitive to the extent of roll-out, with responses from branded pack smokers approaching those of plain pack smokers, once 80% of survey respondents were smoking from plain packs 1-2 weeks before the December implementation date. CONCLUSIONS: The early indication is that plain packaging is associated with lower smoking appeal, more support for the policy and more urgency to quit among adult smokers.
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    Trends in Roll-Your-Own Smoking: Findings from the ITC Four-Country Survey (2002-2008)
    Young, D ; Yong, H-H ; Borland, R ; Shahab, L ; Hammond, D ; Cummings, KM ; Wilson, N (HINDAWI LTD, 2012)
    OBJECTIVE: To establish the trends in prevalence, and correlates, of roll-your-own (RYO) use in Canada, USA, UK and Australia, 2002-2008. METHODS: Participants were 19,456 cigarette smokers interviewed during the longitudinal International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four-Country Survey in Canada, USA, UK, and Australia. RESULTS: "Predominant" RYO use (i.e., >50% of cigarettes smoked) increased significantly in the UK and USA as a proportion of all cigarette use (both P < .001) and in all countries as a proportion of any RYO use (all P < .010). Younger, financially stressed smokers are disproportionately contributing to "some" use (i.e., ≤50% of cigarettes smoked). Relative cost was the major reason given for using RYO, and predominant RYO use is consistently and significantly associated with low income. CONCLUSIONS: RYO market trends reflect the price advantages accruing to RYO (a product of favourable taxation regimes in some jurisdictions reinforced by the enhanced control over the amount of tobacco used), especially following the impact of the Global Financial Crisis; the availability of competing low-cost alternatives to RYO; accessibility of duty-free RYO tobacco; and tobacco industry niche marketing strategies. If policy makers want to ensure that the RYO option does not inhibit the fight to end the tobacco epidemic, especially amongst the disadvantaged, they need to reduce the price advantage, target additional health messages at (young) RYO users, and challenge niche marketing of RYO by the industry.
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    Does Radiotherapy for the Primary Tumor Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients with Distant Metastasis at Initial Diagnosis?
    Cho, Y ; Chang, JS ; Rha, KH ; Hong, SJ ; Choi, YD ; Ham, WS ; Kim, JW ; Cho, J ; Gorlova, OY (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2016-01-25)
    OBJECTIVE: Some researchers have raised concerns that pictorial health warning labels (HWLs) on cigarette packages may lead to message rejection and reduced effectiveness of HWL messages. This study aimed to determine how state reactance (i.e., negative affect due to perceived manipulation) in response to both pictorial and text-only HWLs is associated with other types of HWL responses and with subsequent cessation attempts. METHODS: Survey data were collected every 4 months between September 2013 and 2014 from online panels of adult smokers in Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the US were analyzed. Participants with at least one wave of follow-up were included in the analysis (n = 4,072 smokers; 7,459 observations). Surveys assessed psychological and behavioral responses to HWLs (i.e., attention to HWLs, cognitive elaboration of risks due to HWLs, avoiding HWLs, and forgoing cigarettes because of HWLs) and cessation attempts. Participants then viewed specific HWLs from their countries and were queried about affective state reactance. Logistic and linear Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) models regressed each of the psychological and behavioral HWL responses on reactance, while controlling for socio-demographic and smoking-related variables. Logistic GEE models also regressed having attempted to quit by the subsequent survey on reactance, each of the psychological and behavioral HWL responses (analyzed separately), adjustment variables. Data from all countries were initially pooled, with interactions between country and reactance assessed; when interactions were statistically significant, country-stratified models were estimated. RESULTS: Interactions between country and reactance were found in all models that regressed psychological and behavioral HWL responses on study variables. In the US, stronger reactance was associated with more frequent reading of HWLs and thinking about health risks. Smokers from all four countries with stronger reactance reported greater likelihood of avoiding warnings and forgoing cigarettes due to warnings, although the association appeared stronger in the US. Both stronger HWLs responses and reactance were positively associated with subsequent cessation attempts, with no significant interaction between country and reactance. CONCLUSIONS: Reactance towards HWLs does not appear to interfere with quitting, which is consistent with its being an indicator of concern, not a systematic effort to avoid HWL message engagement.
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    Impact of reduced ignition propensity cigarette regulation on consumer smoking behavior and quit intentions: evidence from 6 waves (2004-11) of the ITC Four Country Survey
    Adkison, SE ; O'Connor, RJ ; Borland, R ; Yong, H-H ; Cummings, KM ; Hammond, D ; Fong, GT (EUROPEAN PUBLISHING, 2013-12-21)
    BACKGROUND: Although on the decline, smoking-related fires remain a leading cause of fire death in the United States and United Kingdom and account for over 10% of fire-related deaths worldwide. This has prompted lawmakers to enact legislation requiring manufacturers to implement reduced ignition propensity (RIP) safety standards for cigarettes. The current research evaluates how implementation of RIP safety standards in different countries influenced smokers' perceptions of cigarette self-extinguishment, frequency of extinguishment, and the impact on consumer smoking behaviors, including cigarettes smoked per day and planning to quit. METHODS: Participants for this research come from Waves 3 through 8 of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey conducted longitudinally from 2004 through 2011 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. RESULTS: Perceptions of cigarette self-extinguishment and frequency of extinguishment increased concurrently with an increase in the prevalence of RIP safety standards for cigarettes. Presence of RIP safety standards was also associated with a greater intention to quit smoking, but was not associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Intention to quit was higher among those who were more likely to report that their cigarettes self-extinguish sometimes and often, but we found no evidence of an interaction between frequency of extinguishment and RIP safety standards on quit intentions. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, because these standards largely do not influence consumer smoking behavior, RIP implementation may significantly reduce the number of cigarette-related fires and the associated death and damages. Further research should assess how implementation of RIP safety standards has influenced smoking-related fire incidence, deaths, and other costs associated with smoking-related fires.
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    The importance of the belief that "light" cigarettes are smoother in misperceptions of the harmfulness of "light" cigarettes in the Republic of Korea: a nationally representative cohort study
    Green, AC ; Fong, GT ; Borland, R ; Quah, ACK ; Seo, HG ; Kim, Y ; Elton-Marshall, T (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2015-11-07)
    BACKGROUND: A number of countries have banned misleading cigarette descriptors such as "light" and "low-tar" as called for by the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. These laws, however, do not address the underlying cigarette design elements that contribute to misperceptions about harm. This is the first study to examine beliefs about "light" cigarettes among Korean smokers, and the first to identify factors related to cigarette design that are associated with the belief that "light" cigarettes are less harmful. METHODS: We analysed data from Wave 3 of the ITC Korea Survey, a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,753 adult smokers, conducted October - December 2010. A multinomial logistic regression was used to examine which factors were associated with the belief that "light" cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. RESULTS: One quarter (25.0 %) of smokers believed that "light" cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes, 25.8 % believed that smokers of "light" brands take in less tar, and 15.5 % held both of these beliefs. By far the strongest predictor of the erroneous belief that "light" cigarettes are less harmful was the belief that "light" cigarettes are smoother on the throat and chest (p < 0.001, OR = 44.8, 95 % CI 23.6-84.9). CONCLUSIONS: The strong association between the belief that "light" cigarettes are smoother on the throat and chest and the belief that "light" cigarettes are less harmful, which is consistent with previous research, provides further evidence of the need to not only ban "light" descriptors, but also prohibit cigarette design and packaging features that contribute to the perception of smoothness.
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    Interpersonal communication about pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages: Policy-related influences and relationships with smoking cessation attempts
    Thrasher, JF ; Abad-Vivero, EN ; Huang, L ; O'Connor, RJ ; Hammond, D ; Bansal-Travers, M ; Yong, H-H ; Borland, R ; Markovsky, B ; Hardin, J (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2016-09)
    This study evaluated the relationship between interpersonal communication about cigarette health warning labels (HWLs), psychological responses to HWLs, and smoking cessation attempts. Data were analyzed from online consumer panels of adult smokers in Australia, Canada and Mexico, during implementation of new pictorial health warning labels (HWLs) on cigarette packs. Approximately 1000 adult smokers were surveyed in each country every four months (September 2012, January 2013, May 2013, September 2013, January 2014). Only smokers followed for at least two waves were included in the analytic sample. Participants reported the frequency of talking about HWLs in the last month (in general, with family members, and with friends). For each country, poisson generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were estimated to assess the bivariate and adjusted correlates of talking about HWLs. Logistic GEE models regressed having attempted to quit by the subsequent wave on HWL talk, sociodemographics and psychological responses to HWLs. The frequency of HWL talk gradually decreased in Canada (48%-36%) after new HWLs were implemented; an increase (30%-58%) in Australia corresponded with implementation of new HWLs, after which talking stabilized; and the frequency of HWL talk in Mexico was stable over time, where new HWLs are implemented every six months. Talk about HWLs was an independent predictor of subsequent quit attempts in Canada (AOR = 1.50; 95% CI = 1.11-2.02), Australia (AOR = 1.41; 95% CI = 1.05-1.89), and Mexico (AOR = 1.53; 95% CI = 1.11-2.10), as was cognitive responses to HWLs (Australia AOR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.22-2.24; Canada AOR = 1.56; 95% CI = 1.15-2.11; Mexico AOR = 1.30; 95% CI = 0.91-1.85). No interaction between talk and cognitive reactions to HWLs were found. These results suggest that interpersonal communication about HWLs influences smoking cessation attempts independent of other established predictors of smoking cessation, including cessation-related HWL responses. Future research should determine ways to catalyze interpersonal communication about HWLs and thereby potentiate HWL effects.
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    Influences of Self-Efficacy, Response Efficacy, and Reactance on Responses to Cigarette Health Warnings: A Longitudinal Study of Adult Smokers in Australia and Canada
    Thrasher, JF ; Swayampakala, K ; Borland, R ; Nagelhout, G ; Yong, H-H ; Hammond, D ; Bansal-Travers, M ; Thompson, M ; Hardin, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2016-12)
    Guided by the extended parallel process model (EPPM) and reactance theory, this study examined the relationship between efficacy beliefs, reactance, and adult smokers' responses to pictorial health warning labels (HWL) on cigarette packaging, including whether efficacy beliefs or reactance modify the relationship between HWL responses and subsequent smoking cessation behavior. Four waves of data were analyzed from prospective cohorts of smokers in Australia and Canada (n = 7,120 observations) over a period of time after implementation of more prominent, pictorial HWLs. Three types of HWL responses were studied: psychological threat responses (i.e., thinking about risks from smoking), forgoing cigarettes due to HWLs, and avoiding HWLs. The results from Generalized Estimating Equation models indicated that stronger efficacy beliefs and lower trait reactance were significantly associated with greater psychological threat responses to HWLs. Similar results were found for models predicting forgoing behavior, although response efficacy was inversely associated with it. Only response efficacy was significantly associated with avoiding HWLs, showing a positive relationship. Higher self-efficacy and stronger responses to HWLs, no matter the type, were associated with attempting to quit in the follow-up period; reactance was unassociated. No statistically significant interactions were found. These results suggest that stronger efficacy beliefs and lower trait reactance are associated with some stronger responses to fear-arousing HWL responses; however, these HWL responses appear no less likely to lead to cessation attempts among smokers with different levels of self-efficacy to quit, of response efficacy beliefs, or of trait reactance against attempts to control their behavior.
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    Socio-Economic Variation in Price Minimizing Behaviors: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
    Licht, AS ; Hyland, AJ ; O'Connor, RJ ; Chaloupka, FJ ; Borland, R ; Fong, GT ; Nargis, N ; Cummings, KM (MDPI, 2011-01)
    This paper examines how socio-economic status (SES) modifies how smokers adjust to changes in the price of tobacco products through utilization of multiple price minimizing techniques. Data come from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Four Country Survey, nationally representative samples of adult smokers and includes respondents from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Cross-sectional analyses were completed among 8,243 respondents (7,038 current smokers) from the survey wave conducted between October 2006 and February 2007. Analyses examined predictors of purchasing from low/untaxed sources, using discount cigarettes or roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, purchasing cigarettes in cartons, and engaging in high levels of price and tax avoidance at last purchase. All analyses tested for interactions with SES and were weighted to account for changing and under-represented demographics. Relatively high levels of price and tax avoidance behaviors were present; 8% reported buying from low or untaxed source; 36% used discount or generic brands, 13.5% used RYO tobacco, 29% reported purchasing cartons, and 63% reported using at least one of these high price avoidance behaviors. Respondents categorized as having low SES were approximately 26% less likely to report using low or untaxed sources and 43% less likely to purchase tobacco by the carton. However, respondents with low SES were 85% more likely to report using discount brands/RYO compared to participants with higher SES. Overall, lower SES smokers were 25% more likely to engage in at least one or more tax avoidance behaviors compared to their higher SES counterparts. Price and tax avoidance behaviors are relatively common among smokers of all SES strata, but strategies differed with higher SES groups more likely to report traveling to a low-tax location to avoid paying higher prices, purchase duty free tobacco, and purchase by cartons instead of packs all of which were less commonly reported by low SES smokers. Because of the strategies lower SES respondents are more likely to use, reducing price differentials between discount and premium brands may have a greater impact on them, potentially increasing the likelihood of quitting.