Roll-your-own cigarette use in Italy: sales and consumer profile—data from PASSI surveillance, 2015–2016

Valentina Minardi, Gianluigi Ferrante, Paolo D’Argenio, Maria Masocco, Lorenzo Spizzichino, Carla Bietta, Benedetta Contoli, Silvano Gallus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The use of roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette has substantially increased in most high-income countries recently. This work aims to update Italian trends on loose tobacco sales and to describe the consumer profile of predominant RYO users. Methods: Data from the Italian Agency of Customs and State Monopolies and from PASSI (Italian behavioral risk factor surveillance system) were used. Information on 16,858 interviews to current smokers aged 18–69 was analyzed. Results: Sales of loose tobacco increased more than sevenfold between 2004 and 2017. In 2015–2016, 11.6% of smokers reported smoking predominantly RYO cigarettes, with higher percentages among the youngest where a significant association between use of RYO and education was observed, unlike what happened in older adults. The association between economic difficulties and use of RYO was observed only in older adults. Conclusions: A growing trend in RYO cigarette sales was registered between 2004 and 2017. In young smokers, the greater use of RYO was observed among the most educated regardless of financial strain, while in older ones among those with economic difficulties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Hand-rolled/RYO tobacco
  • Price
  • Public policy
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Taxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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