Smokers' attitudes on control policies and an overview of the current state in Serbia
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Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Olivera Jovanovic   

Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A36
Serbia is one of the countries with the weakest tobacco use control policy (e.g., smoking indoors is allowed in restaurants and bars; the promotion is not entirely banned), relatively low prices, and consequently a high prevalence of smoking and smoking-related diseases.

In this research, we examined how tobacco product users would react to health-promoting non-price and price policy measures: indoor smoking and vaping bans and tobacco product price increases. Also, we explored the current state of exposure to tobacco product commercials.

For this purpose, we analyzed the data from a large-scale field survey conducted on a sample of 1000 adult participants (56.% males, 43.5% females), representative of the Serbian population of tobacco product users.

The results showed that 40.4% of participants would support the complete smoking and vaping ban indoors, and if such a policy were to be implemented, 26.2% would reduce smoking, and 3.9% would probably quit. The support for a 20% increase in tobacco product prices was 13.6%; however, 40.3% of participants would support that measure if the governmental revenues from such an increase were redistributed for healthcare, education, and social welfare services. The exposure to various types of traditional cigarette commercials ranged from 2.1% (seeing special discounts on tobacco products) to 14.8% (seeing printed logos and brand names on t-shirts, pencils, or lighters). The participants were even more exposed to commercials on heated or vaping tobacco products, whereby the exposure ranged from 5.2% for noticing gifts or discounts on other products up to 14% of them who were exposed to promotions in a restaurant or cafe.

The share of tobacco product users who would support the measures of indoor bans and price increases seems encouraging. On the other hand, a high level of tobacco product promotion exposure could be seen as alarming.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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