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Effects of Visual Exposure to IQOS Use on Smoking Urge and Behavior

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Objectives: In this study, we examined whether visual exposure to the heated tobacco product (HTP) IQOS, which was authorized for sale by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2019, acts as a cue to increase cigarette craving and smoking behavior among smokers. Methods: Young adult smokers (N = 105) were randomly assigned to view a video depicting use of either IQOS or bottled water. Main outcomes were changes in cigarette and e-cigarette desire and latency to smoke between the groups. We also examined participants' attitudes about the actors using IQOS and drinking water in the videos. Results: Exposure to the use of IQOS acutely increased observers' ratings of smoking urge and desire for a cigarette and an e-cigarette. The IQOS cue, compared with the water cue, also produced a marginally significant shorter latency to smoke. Participants perceived actors as less likeable and friendly when using IQOS than when drinking water. Conclusions: Results showed that exposure to IQOS produced smoking urge and behavior in young adult smokers, implicating IQOS use as a smoking and vaping cue. As HTPs gain popularity, product impact on passive observers should be included in their risk-benefit profile.
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Keywords: CUE REACTIVITY; ELECTRONIC NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEMS (ENDS); HEAT-NOT-BURN; HEATED TOBACCO PRODUCTS; IQOS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States 2: Psychology Department, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States 3: cientific Director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States 4: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States 5: Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States

Publication date: January 2021

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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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