Impact of smoking reduced nicotine content cigarettes on sensitivity to cigarette price: further results from a multi-site clinical trial

Tracy T. Smith, Rachel N. Cassidy, Jennifer W. Tidey, Xianghua Luo, Chap T. Le, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Eric C. Donny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: To assess the impact of a reduction in the nicotine content of cigarettes on estimated consumption of reduced nicotine cigarettes and usual brand cigarettes at a variety of hypothetical prices. Design: Double-blind study with participants assigned randomly to receive cigarettes for 6 weeks that were either usual brand or an investigational cigarette with one of five nicotine contents. Setting: Ten sites across the United States. Participants: A total of 839 eligible adult smokers randomized from 2013 to 2014. Intervention and comparator: Participants received their usual brand or an investigational cigarette with one of five nicotine contents: 15.8 (primary control), 5.2, 2.4, 1.3, or 0.4 mg/g. Measurements: The Cigarette Purchase Task was completed at baseline and at the week 6 post-randomization visit. Findings: Compared with normal nicotine content controls, the lowest nicotine content (0.4 mg/g) reduced the number of study cigarettes participants estimated they would smoke at a range of prices [mean reduction relative to 15.8 mg/g at a price of $4.00/pack: 9.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 6.81,12.19]. The lowest nicotine content also reduced the maximum amount of money allocated to study cigarettes and the price at which participants reported they would stop buying study cigarettes [median reduction relative to 15.8 mg/g, 95% CI = $8.21 (4.27,12.15) per day and $0.44 (0.17,0.71) per cigarette, respectively]. A reduction in nicotine content to the lowest level also reduced the maximum amount of money allocated to usual brand cigarettes (median reduction relative to 15.8 mg/g: $4.39 per day, 95% CI = 1.88,6.90). Conclusions: In current smokers, a reduction in nicotine content may reduce cigarette consumption, reduce the reinforcement value of cigarettes and increase cessation if reduced nicotine content cigarettes were the only cigarette available for purchase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalAddiction
Volume112
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • End game
  • harm reduction
  • nicotine
  • public policy
  • smoking
  • taxation

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