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

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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.
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Keywords: ATTRIBUTES; DISCRETE CHOICE EXPERIMENT; E-CIGARETTES; PREFERENCE; VAPING

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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