Affordability and Youth’s Opinion toward Cigarette Price and Tobacco Tax in Lao PDR (Laos)
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Faculty of Postgraduate Studies, University of Health Sciences, Vientiane, Lao P.D.R
Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Health Sciences
Tobacco Control Office, Ministry of Health, Lao PDR
Sysavanh Phommachanh   

Faculty of Postgraduate Studies, University of Health Sciences, Vientiane, Lao P.D.R
Publish date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A203
Aim and Objective: To determine the perception among Lao youth on the affordability of cigarette [and smokeless tobacco and ENDS] prices and their disposition toward higher taxes and prices, and this study will help provide sufficient evidence to support the increment of excise tax rate in Laos aimed at reducing smoking among Lao youths.

A cross-sectional study with two-stage cluster, randomly selection was used to select villages and youths with age 13 to 24 years old. A structured questionnaire was applied for face-to-face interviews. Descriptive and comparative statistics were used.

395 youths (98%) were studied. Respondents thought that cigarette price and tobacco tax is not high enough (46% and 47% respectively). The smoking prevalence among youths was high (14%) with both e-cigarette and smokeless users (30% and 10% respectively). Belief on smoking danger was significantly higher in the group without smoking (86%) as compared to that with smoking (68%), (p=0.001). Cigarette price (in LAK) per pack usually the respondents bought was 7,000 (1,000-25,000) at the stores. 93.6% of respondents said that they would stop smoking if the cigarette price (LAK) per pack is 50, 000 (2,000-900,000). 79% of respondents strongly agreed that increasing cigarette tax would help to reduce cigarette consumption. 94% of respondents supported if certain amount of tobacco tax is dedicated to tobacco control/health promotion activities.

Cigarette smoking is increased among Lao youth, because cigarettes become more affordability and availability due to low cigarette prices. Youth perceived that tobacco tax rate in Laos was not high enough to make cigarette unaffordable. This suggests that the government needs to take action to increase tax rates and prices urgently. Youth also strongly agreed on dedicating of certain amount of tobacco tax revenue to tobacco control/health promotion activities.