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Impact of Flavor on Youth & Young Adults use Intention, Abuse Liability and Perceptions of Cigarillos

Principal Investigator(s): Erika Trapl
Funding Mechanism: Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority

ID number: 1R01DA048529-01A1

Award Date: August 15, 2019

Institution: Case Western Reserve University

The goal of this study is to examine the impact of characterizing flavors in cigarillos on product appeal, attention to marketing, product perceptions, abuse liability, and subsequent use behavior among youth (ages 14-20) and young adults (ages 21-28). Study aims are: (1) to evaluate perceptions of flavors on appeal, purchasing and risk perceptions of cigarillo products among young adult and adolescent cigarillo users; (2) to examine differences in visual attention and risk perceptions of flavored and unflavored cigarillo advertisements among young adult cigarillo users and nonusers; and (3) to evaluate, in an experimental tobacco marketplace, the abuse liability/addictive potential of flavored versus unflavored cigarillos while simultaneously evaluating the substitutability of flavored versus unflavored JUUL e-cigarettes. To achieve Aim 1, researchers will ask 392 youth and young adult cigarillo smokers to quantitatively rate the role of flavor and report perceptions of product appeal, health risk, advertising exposure and use intentions; participants will also complete purchase and substitution tasks. To achieve Aim 2, researchers will use eye tracking equipment to compare visual attention across a set of flavored only, unflavored only, or mixed advertisements for cigarillo products and JUUL in a randomized experiment involving 150 young adult and adolescent users and non-users; participants will provide absolute and relative risk perception ratings immediately and one week after advertisement exposure. To achieve Aim 3, researchers will randomly assign 162 young adult cigarillo users to one of four conditions in an experimental online store with different products available: (1) flavored cigarillos and fruit-flavored JUUL devices, (2) unflavored cigarillos and fruit-flavored JUUL devices, (3) flavored cigarillos and tobacco-flavored JUUL devices, or (4) unflavored cigarillos and tobacco-flavored JUUL devices; researchers will then evaluate purchasing behavior, price sensitivity, product substitutability, and motivation to quit. Findings may inform regulatory activities related to cigarillos.

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