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Acceptability of SPECTRUM Research Cigarettes among Participants in Trials of Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes

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Objectives: SPECTRUM research cigarettes (SPECTRUMs) are being used in trials evaluating the effects of switching to reduced nicotine content (RNC) cigarettes. Because smokers have a high brand affinity, we evaluated if they were willing to switch and continue smoking normal nicotine content (NNC) SPECTRUMs. Methods: We asked smokers (N = 341) to rate their own brand of cigarettes and NNC SPECTRUMs (after 2 weeks of use) using subjective measures including satisfaction, reward, taste, and craving reduction. We measured plasma cotinine, exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), and cigarettes per day (CPD), and recorded reasons for dropping out. Results: After 2 weeks, 95% of participants chose to continue using SPECTRUMs for an additional 18 weeks. Moreover, 67% said SPECTRUMs were as good as or better than their own brand, and 65% said they would consider purchasing them. Ratings of satisfaction, reward, and craving reduction were 10%-15% lower on SPECTRUMs than on their own brand (p < .01). There were no differences in these ratings between menthol and non-menthol smokers. Conclusions: Menthol and non-menthol SPECTRUMs are acceptable to smokers. Lower SPECTRUM ratings were likely due to brand switching and did not hinder study retention.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2018

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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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