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Open Access Estimating Uptake for Reduced-nicotine Cigarettes Using Behavioral Economics

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Objectives: Lowering the nicotine content in combustible cigarettes may be a viable strategy for reducing dependence and toxin exposure. Understanding how marketing and education may affect initial uptake is an important avenue of inquiry prior to any policy change. There has yet to be an investigation of how framing reductions in nicotine may affect intentions to purchase and consume these cigarettes using the behavioral economic framework. Methods: Participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk completed several tasks, including the Cigarette Purchase Task and Experimental Tobacco Marketplace, under conditions in which a new, reduced-nicotine cigarette alternative is the only cigarette available. Results: Cigarette purchasing was largely unaffected by stated nicotine concentration, but lower concentrations suggested the potential of small estimated compensatory purchasing. Exposure to a narrative detailing how others have perceived the negative subjective effects of lower nicotine cigarettes (eg, less satisfaction) sig- nificantly reduced the perceived value of cigarettes. Conclusions: These results suggest infor- mation about nicotine content alone is unlikely to reduce initial uptake without accompanying narratives about the effects of this reduced-nicotine content.
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Keywords: BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS; CIGARETTE PURCHASE TASK; CIGARETTES; DEMAND; EXPERIMENTAL TOBACCO MARKETPLACE; HUMANS; NICOTINE REDUCTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 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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