The experimental tobacco marketplace: Effects of low-ventilated cigarette exposure

Roberta Freitas-Lemos, Allison N. Tegge, Jeffrey S. Stein, William Brady DeHart, Sarah A. Reisinger, Peter G. Shields, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Warren K. Bickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Regulating filter ventilation will change the relative reinforcing value of products resulting in nicotine/tobacco users facing the explore/exploit dilemma (ie, choice between unfamiliar and familiar options). This study examined the effects of price increases in higher-ventilated cigarettes (HVCs) and exposure to lower-ventilated cigarettes (LVCs) on explore/exploit patterns of tobacco-product purchasing in the Experimental Tobacco Marketplace (ETM). Methods: HVC smokers (N = 20) completed one assessment session and 3 ETM sessions separated by weeks of at-home LVC exposure. In each ETM session, participants made 7-days of tobacco-product purchases as HVCs price increased across trials. Results: Prohibitive prices of HVC decreased the likelihood of HVCs purchases and increased the likelihood of LVC purchases. Initial exposure (week 1) to LVC reduced the number of cigarettes purchased when HVC prices were high and increased exploration of alternative tobacco products. Successive exposure to LVC (repeated access in weeks 2,5,6,9,10) decreased likelihood of HVCs and alternative product purchases and increased the likelihood of LVCs purchases. Conclusions: Regulating filter ventilation may initially increase exploration of alternative tobacco products but lead to exploitation of LVCs over time. Tobacco control strategies should take advantage of this transition period when smokers seek information on unfamiliar products to implement harm reduction strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107160
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute grant (5P01CA217806-03). The content is solely the author's responsibility and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. All authors have contributed, read, and approved this version of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Explore/exploit trade-off
  • Filter ventilation
  • Health risk
  • Tobacco marketplace
  • Tobacco regulation


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