Tobacco Price Increase and Smoking Cessation in Japan, a Developed Country With Affordable Tobacco: A National Population-Based Observational Study

J Epidemiol. 2016;26(1):14-21. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20140183. Epub 2015 Aug 15.


Background: Longitudinal assessment of the impact of tobacco price on smoking cessation is scarce. Our objective was to investigate the effect of a price increase in October 2010 on cessation rates according to gender, age, socioeconomic status, and level of tobacco dependence in Japan.

Methods: We used longitudinal data linkage of two nationally representative studies and followed 2702 smokers for assessment of their cessation status. The odds ratios (ORs) for cessation were calculated using logistic regression. To estimate the impact of the 2010 tobacco price increase on cessation, data from 2007 were used as a reference category.

Results: Overall cessation rates significantly increased from 2007 to 2010, from 3.7% to 10.7% for men and from 9.9% to 16.3% for women. Cessation rates were 9.3% for men who smoked 1-10 cigarettes per day, 2.7% for men who smoked 11-20 cigarettes per day, and 2.0% for men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day in 2007. These rates increased to 15.5%, 10.0%, and 8.0%, respectively, in 2010. The impact was stronger among subjects who smoked more than 11 cigarettes per day than those who smoked 1-10 cigarettes per day in both sexes: ORs for 2010 were 4.04 for those smoking 11-20 cigarettes per day, 4.26 for those smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day, and 1.80 for those smoking 1-10 cigarettes per day in the main model in men. There were no obvious differences in the relationship between tobacco price increase and smoking cessation across age and household expenditure groups.

Conclusions: The tobacco price increase in Japan had a significant impact on smoking cessation in both sexes, especially among heavy smokers, with no clear difference in effect by socio-demographic status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Class
  • Tobacco Products / economics*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Young Adult