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Effect of Flavors and Modified Risk Messages on E-cigarette Abuse Liability

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Objectives: We measured e-cigarettes' abuse liability compared to conventional tobacco cigarettes under flavor and message conditions amenable to regulation. Methods: Two studies used 2 x 2 within-subjects designs with factors of e-cigarette flavor (Study 1: tobacco vs menthol; Study 2: cherry vs unflavored) and message (Study 1: reduced harm vs no message; Study 2: reduced exposure to carcinogens vs no message) with cigarette smokers (N(total) = 36). Linear mixed effects models assessed abuse liability for tobacco products. Outcomes included the price after which consumption is zero (the maximum amount participants would pay for a tobacco product) from the multiple-choice procedure (MCP) and cigarette purchase task (CPT) and demand elasticity (price sensitivity) from the CPT. Results: In the MCP, the price where consumption reached zero was significantly lower in all e-cigarette conditions except tobacco flavor (message or no message) compared to cigarettes (ps < .05). Demand elasticity was significantly higher for menthol/no message and unflavored/reduced exposure message conditions relative to cigarettes (ps < .05). Conclusions: Flavors and modified risk messages included with e-cigarettes may affect e-cigarette abuse liability among smokers, suggesting regulatory pathways to influence demand for conventional and alternative tobacco products.
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Keywords: ABUSE LIABILITY; E-CIGARETTE; FLAVOR; RISK MESSAGES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2017

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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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