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Open Access A Novel Method for Evaluating the Acceptability of Substitutes for Cigarettes: The Experimental Tobacco Marketplace

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Objectives: We tested the substitutability of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), electronic cigarettes (ECs), and very low nicotine cigarettes (VLNCs) in the context of an online experimental tobacco marketplace (ETM) that was designed to mimic the choices of smokers under 4 policy scenarios. Methods: Dutch cigarette smokers (N = 840) completed an online survey in July 2015. The ETM was comprised of conventional cigarettes, VLNCs, ECs (disposable/cartridge/tank systems), and NRT (lozenges/patches/tabs). All participants completed a scenario in which conventional cigarettes were banned. To test additional policy scenarios participants were randomized to one of 3 experiments: (1) no VLNCs; (2) all products available; or (3) no ECs. Hypothetical weekly purchases were made when the cost for conventional cigarettes was one-half market price (MP), MP, 2x MP, and 4x MP. We measured substitutability by the change in estimated consumption as cigarette prices increased. Results: Tank and cartridge ECs and VLNCs were stronger cigarette substitutes than disposable ECs and NRT products. Substitution of ECs and NRT for cigarettes was dampened when VLNCs were available. Conclusions: The ETM offers a method to predict how smokers might respond to policies that alter the availability of potentially substitutable products available in the marketplace.

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Keywords: BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS; DEMAND; E-CIGARETTES; NICOTINE REDUCTION; PRICE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-07-01

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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