Conference on abuse liability and appeal of tobacco products: Conclusions and recommendations

Jack E. Henningfield, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Mitch Zeller, Ellen Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The rate of initiation and progression to dependence and premature mortality are higher for tobacco products than for any other dependence producing substance. This is not explained simply by the addictiveness (" abuse liability") or by enticing product designs (" product appeal") alone, but rather by both of these factors in combination with marketing and social influences that also influence " product appeal" A working meeting of leading experts in abuse liability (AL) and product appeal was convened to examine how these disciplines could be more effectively applied to the evaluation of tobacco products for the purposes of regulation that would include setting standards for designs and contents intended to reduce the risk of initiation and dependence. It was concluded that abuse liability assessment (ALA) is a validated approach to testing pharmaceutical products but has not been extensively applied to tobacco products: such application has demonstrated feasibility, but special challenges include the diverse range of products, product complexity, and the absence of satisfactory placebo products. Consumer testing for product appeal is widely used by consumer product marketers as well as by researchers in their efforts to understand consumer product preferences and use but has not been extensively applied to tobacco products except by the tobacco industry. Recommendations for testing, methods development, and research were developed. A major recommendation was that tobacco products should be tested for AL and product appeal, and the results integrated and evaluated so as to more accurately predict risk of initiation, dependence, and persistence of use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support was provided by P50 DA 03333, National Cancer Institute , and National Institute on Drug Abuse . Dr. Buchhalter's services as rapporteur were supported by Pinney Associates. The funders had no further role in developing the conclusions and recommendations, the writing of the report or the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • Abuse liability
  • Abuse potential
  • Addiction
  • Appeal
  • Consumer
  • Dependence
  • Dose
  • Formulation
  • Ingredients
  • Marketing
  • Nicotine
  • Nicotine delivery
  • Policy
  • Product
  • Tobacco


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