Assessing consumer responses to potential reduced-exposure tobacco products: A review of tobacco industry and independent research methods

Vaughan W. Rees, Jennifer M. Kreslake, K. Michael Cummings, Richard J. O'Connor, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Mark Parascandola, Peter G. Shields, Gregory N. Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Internal tobacco industry documents and the mainstream literature are reviewed to identify methods and measures for evaluating tobacco consumer response. The review aims to outline areas in which established methods exist, identify gaps in current methods for assessing consumer response, and consider how these methods might be applied to evaluate potentially reduced exposure tobacco products and new products. Methods: Internal industry research reviewed included published articles, manuscript drafts, presentations, protocols, and instruments relating to consumer response measures were identified and analyzed. Peerreviewed research was identified using PubMed and Scopus. Results: Industry research on consumer response focuses on product development and marketing. To develop and refine new products, the tobacco industry has developed notable strategies for assessing consumers' sensory and subjective responses to product design characteristics. Independent research is often conducted to gauge the likelihood of future product adoption by measuring consumers' risk perceptions, responses to product, and product acceptability. Conclusions: A model that conceptualizes consumer response as comprising the separate, but interacting, domains of product perceptions and response to product is outlined. Industry and independent research supports the dual domain model and provides a wide range of methods for assessment of the construct components of consumer response. Further research is needed to validate consumer response constructs, determine the relationship between consumer response and tobacco user behavior, and improve reliability of consumer response measures. Scientifically rigorous consumer response assessment methods will provide a needed empirical basis for future regulation of potentially reduced-exposure tobacco products and new products, to counteract tobacco industry influence on consumers, and enhance the public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3225-3240
Number of pages16
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

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