Principal Investigator: Lisa A. Henriksen
Funding Mechanism: Inter-Agency Agreement (IAA)
ID Number: 3R01CA067850-10A1S1
Award Date: 8/16/2010
Institution: Stanford University
Adolescents and young adults may be targets of tobacco industry marketing. The goal of this study is to assess smokeless tobacco market awareness, risk perceptions, use, and the effects of flavor and sensory descriptors on product appeal and perceived risk among young people ages 13-25. Specific aims are: (1) to assess marketing awareness, risk perceptions and use of new smokeless products (i.e., snus and dissolvable nicotine products) in a cross-sectional survey; and (2) to examine the effects of flavor (e.g., “peppermint,” “spice,” “berry,” “vanilla”) and sensory (e.g., “mellow,” “smooth,” “natural,” “fresh”) descriptors on product appeal and perceived risk. To accomplish Aim 1, researchers will administer a survey to 3,000 adolescents and young adults aged 13-25. To accomplish Aim 2, researchers will conduct an experiment in which they randomize 497 young adult smokers and nonsmokers aged 18-25 to one of eight experimental groups (either Camel or Marlboro snus packaged in one of four packages characterized by either flavor descriptors, sensory descriptors, no descriptors, or plain packaging) to test how the packaging affects perceptions of appeal and harm. Participants will rate their assigned product on their perceptions of various attributes, including perceived appeal, taste, enjoyment, addictiveness, harm, and safety compared to other snus products and to cigarettes, as well as purchase intentions. Research findings may inform regulatory actions related to tobacco product packaging.