THURSDAY, Dec. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers who roll their own cigarettes are less likely to try to kick the habit and cost may be the reason why, a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 38,000 adults in England who were smokers or who had quit in the past year. About 56 percent said they smoked only factory-made cigarettes, while nearly 37 percent said they smoked only roll-your-own cigarettes.
Just 16 percent of roll-your-own smokers were highly motivated to quit, compared to 20 percent of factory-made cigarette smokers, according to the University College London (UCL) study. It was published online Dec. 4 in the journal BMJ Open.
Why the difference? Roll-your-own smokers were less interested in quitting because of the cheaper cost of their cigarettes, the study found. Only factory-made cigarettes are taxed, the researchers explained.
"Cost is consistently reported by smokers as one of the primary motives for quitting. With [roll-your-own] cigarettes offering a lower cost alternative to factory-made cigarettes, [roll-your-own] users may be more able to afford to continue to smoke, and therefore less inclined to try to quit," said study author Sarah Jackson, from the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at UCL.
"This has important implications for tobacco control policy, given that a key strategy used by governments worldwide to reduce smoking is to raise taxes on tobacco in order to increase the cost of smoking," Jackson said in a university news release.
Kruti Shrotri, Cancer Research UK's tobacco control expert, agreed. The group funded the research.
"[Roll-your-own] cigarettes are much cheaper, so it's not surprising that smokers using these cigarettes are less motivated to quit than those using factory-made ones," Shrotri said.
"But it's important to know that there's no safe way to use tobacco. The [British] Government needs to increase taxes on rolling tobacco to match the prices of factory-made cigarettes to help motivate smokers to quit, whatever type of tobacco they use," she added.
"Smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer, preventable illness and avoidable death," Shrotri said.
The American Cancer Society has more on quitting smoking.