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How and Why Consumers View "Little Cigars" as Legally-defined Cigarettes

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Objective: In this study, we tested if consumers perceive filtered "little cigars" as legally-defined cigarettes and identify features they associate with cigarettes, but not little cigars and vice versa. Methods: Participants in our sample of 1030 adults (mean age 31.1 years, 34% male, 25% non-white) were randomized in a 2x2 between-subjects experiment to view images of filtered "little cigars" that varied by package labeling (cigars: yes/no) and the product displayed in front of the packaging (filtered "little cigar" or cigarette). Measures assessed participants' perceptions that the product shown can be used as a substitute for cigarettes and features perceived to be associated with cigarettes versus little cigars. Results: Participants perceived filtered "little cigars" as substitutes for cigarettes, perceived certain features to be more like little cigars (eg, no filter/tip, wrapped in tobacco leaf) and others to be more like cigarettes (eg, filtered, could be inhaled deeply). In analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) assessing experimental condition effects, participants viewing images of cigarettes had stronger perceptions that filtered "little cigars" could be used as cigarette substitutes and had cigarette characteristics, but the effect was small. Conclusions: This study provides new evidence that filtered "little cigars" are perceived by consumers as cigarettes under current laws and identifies features distinguishing little cigars from cigarettes.
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Keywords: CONSUMER PERCEPTIONS; FILTERED CIGARS; LITTLE CIGARS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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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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