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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1825: Influence of Electronic Cigarette Characteristics on Susceptibility, Perceptions, and Abuse Liability Indices among Combustible Tobacco Cigarette Smokers and Non-Smokers

23 May 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1825: Influence of Electronic Cigarette Characteristics on Susceptibility, Perceptions, and Abuse Liability Indices among Combustible Tobacco Cigarette Smokers and Non-Smokers

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101825

Authors:
Cosima Hoetger
Rose S. Bono
Nicole E. Nicksic
Andrew J. Barnes
Caroline O. Cobb

This study assessed how electronic cigarette (ECIG) characteristics amenable to regulation—namely nicotine content, flavor, and modified risk messages—impact ECIG use susceptibility, harm/addiction perceptions, and abuse liability indices among combustible tobacco cigarette (CTC) smokers and non-smokers. CTC smokers and non-smokers varying in ECIG use recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) completed an online survey in 2016 (analytic n = 706). Participants were randomly assigned to one of eight conditions differing in ECIG characteristics: nicotine content (no, low, high), flavor (menthol, tobacco, fruit), or modified risk message (reduced harm, reduced carcinogen exposure). Regressions assessed ECIG susceptibility, harm/addiction perceptions, and abuse liability indices (purchase task measures of breakpoint/intensity) within each regulatory domain (nicotine content, flavor, message) and their interactions with CTC/ECIG status. Differential effects on ECIG susceptibility, harm/addiction perceptions, and abuse liability indices were observed by regulatory domain with many effects moderated by CTC/ECIG status. ECIG nicotine content and flavor conditions were the most influential across outcomes. Greater nicotine content, tobacco-flavored and reduced carcinogen exposure ECIGs were more highly preferred by CTC smokers with some differing preferences for non-users. Findings reinforce consideration of discrete ECIG preferences across tobacco use status to improve regulatory efficacy.

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