Population Tobacco Control Interventions and Their Effects on Social Inequalities in Health
Completed Start date 2005 End date 2008
The aim of this study, funded by the Department of Health, was to assess how the effects of population-level tobacco control interventions vary between socioeconomic groups, thereby helping to understand which interventions, in which contexts, are likely to be effective in reducing smoking-related health inequalities. The project involved a systematic overview of existing systematic reviews, a new systematic review of primary studies and the development of a new method, the 'harvest plot', for summarising evidence about the differential effects of interventions. The study found that the most compelling evidence of a social gradient favouring the less well off was for the price of tobacco products, in that increasing the price of tobacco appeared to be more effective in reducing smoking among younger people, lower-income adults, and those in manual occupations. Smoking restrictions in schools may be more effective in girls, and restrictions on sales to minors may be more effective in white than non-white groups. No strong evidence of differential effects was found for smoking restrictions in workplaces and public places, although those in higher occupational groups may be more likely to change their attitudes or behaviour as a result of such restrictions.
Fayter D, Main C, Misso K, Ogilvie D, Petticrew M, Sowden A, Stirk L, Thomas S, Whitehead M, Worthy G. Population tobacco control interventions and their effects on social inequalities in smoking. CRD Report 39, York, 2008open access
Main C, Thomas S, Ogilvie D, Stirk L, Petticrew M, Whitehead M, Sowden A. Population tobacco control interventions and their effects on social inequalities in smoking: placing an equity lens on existing systematic reviews. BMC Public Health 2008;8:178pubmed open access
Ogilvie D, Fayter D, Petticrew M, Sowden A, Thomas S, Whitehead M. The harvest plot: a method for synthesising evidence about the differential effects of interventions. BMC Medical Research Methodology 2008;8:08pubmed open access