Persistence and amplitude of cigarette demand in relation to quit intentions and attempts

Richard J. O’Connor, Bryan W. Heckman, Sarah E. Adkison, Vaughan W. Rees, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Warren K. Bickel, K. Michael Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Introduction: The cigarette purchase task (CPT) is a method that can be used to assess the relative value of cigarettes. Based on cigarettes purchased across a price range, five derived metrics (Omax, Pmax, breakpoint, intensity, and elasticity) can assess cigarette demand. A study with adolescent smokers found that these could be reduced to two latent factors: persistence (price insensitivity) and amplitude (volumetric consumption). We sought to replicate this structure with adult smokers and examine how these variables relate to cessation efforts. Method: Web-based survey conducted in 2014 among adult (18 years and above) current daily cigarette smokers (N = 1194). Participants completed the CPT, Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), reported past-year quit attempts, and future quit intentions. We included published scales assessing perceived prevalence of smoking, social reactivity, smoker identity, and risk perception. Results: Our analysis supported two latent variables, persistence and amplitude, which correlated positively with FTND. Persistence was correlated with several psychosocial factors and was higher among those intending to quit very soon, but did not vary by number of past-year quit attempts. Amplitude differed across quit attempts and intention (p < 0.001) and, in multivariable models, was significantly associated with lower 30-day quit intention (OR = 0.76, p = 0.001). Conclusions: Persistence and amplitude factors characterized CPT data in adults, discriminated known groups (e.g., smokers by intentions to quit), and were positively associated with nicotine dependence. Factor scores also appear to relate to certain psychosocial factors, such as smoker identity and perceptions of risk. Future research should examine the predictive validity of these constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2365-2371
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a cooperative agreement from the National Cancer Institute (U19CA157345). Bryan W. Heckman was supported by K12DA031794.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Behavioral economics
  • Cigarette purchase task
  • Web-based survey


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