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Open Access E-cigarette Product Preferences among Adult Smokers: A Discrete Choice Experiment

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Objectives: In this study, we used a discrete choice experiment (DCE) conducted August-October 2017 to examine electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) product preferences in a national sample of adult smokers (N = 1154) who were also using ENDS or had not ruled out future use. Methods: The DCE evaluated 5 ENDS attributes: relative harm; effectiveness for helping smokers quit; nicotine strength; flavor; and price. We asked participants to choose among their own cigarettes, 2 ENDS products whose attributes varied across tasks, or none. We analyzed ENDS preferences using multinomial, nested, and mixed logit regressions. Results: Smokers preferred ENDS that are less harmful than cigarettes, are effective in helping smokers quit, are lower priced, and are not menthol-flavored. The marginal willingness to pay for an ENDS product was $8.40 when less harmful than cigarettes, $4.13 when of unknown effectiveness in helping quitting ($13.90 when effective), and $3.37 when ENDS are not menthol-flavored. Furthermore, the overall flavor preference is driven by tobacco smokers, not by menthol cigarette smokers who do prefer menthol-flavored ENDS. Conclusions: Policies that affect perceptions of ENDS effectiveness in promoting cessation and their relative harm may alter smokers' ENDS preferences. Regulating flavors and price also may influence adult smokers' ENDS preference.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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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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