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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 608-621; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020608

“It’s All We Got Left”. Why Poor Smokers are Less Sensitive to Cigarette Price Increases

1, 2, 3,*  and 1
1 INSERM, U912 (SE4S), IPC, 232 Bd Sainte-Marguerite, 13273 Marseille Cedex 09, France 2 Université Aix Marseille, IRD, UMR-S912, 58 Bd Charles Livon, 13284 Marseille Cedex 07, France 3 ORS PACA, Observatoire Régional de la Santé Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, 23 rue Stanislas Torrents, 13006 Marseille, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2008 / Accepted: 6 February 2009 / Published: 10 February 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
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In France, between 2000 and 2008, concurrently to the increase in cigarette price, we observed an increasing social differentiation of cigarette smoking: smoking prevalence decreased among executive managers and professional occupations, it remained stable among manual workers, and it increased among the unemployed. Poor smokers were heavier smokers, they were more frequently tobacco-dependent, and they were more prone to smoke automatically or to reduce “negative feelings”. In-depth interviews provided a more comprehensive insight into poor smokers’ motivations: they were aware of their addiction, but they also talked about the pleasure they get from smoking, and they highlighted the essential needs satisfied by smoking: stress relief, cheap leisure, compensation for loneliness, break-up or redundancy… Acknowledging the functional aspects of smoking experienced by poor smokers helps to understand why increasing the cigarette price is unlikely to deter many poor smokers from smoking.
Keywords: Cigarette smoking; poverty; smoking motives Cigarette smoking; poverty; smoking motives
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Peretti-Watel, P.; Constance, J. “It’s All We Got Left”. Why Poor Smokers are Less Sensitive to Cigarette Price Increases. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 608-621.

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