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Smokers’ reactions to reduced ignition propensity cigarettes


Background: On 28 June 2004, New York State (NY) became the first jurisdiction to require cigarettes to meet a reduced ignition propensity (RIP) standard. This law resulted in cigarette manufacturers modifying nearly all of their brands sold in NY. However, the same cigarette brands sold in other states were not modified to meet the RIP standard.

Objectives: This paper examines relationships between the RIP law and smokers’ awareness of changes in the performance of their cigarettes (that is, going out more frequently, change in taste), and smoking behaviour.

Methods: Data for this analysis come from a nationwide survey of 2088 adult smokers (> 18 years of age) conducted in the USA between July and December 2004. 143 of the smokers included in the survey were residents of NY while the remainder were from other states (n  =  1945). Survey participants were asked whether their cigarettes “ever go out between puffs” and whether they had noticed any change in the taste of their cigarettes in the past 12 months.

Results: NY smokers were three times more likely than smokers in other states to report that their cigarettes often went out between puffs (17.3% v 5.6%). However, NY smokers appeared no more likely to report noticing differences in cigarette taste, an intention to quit smoking, or to have made quit attempts.

Conclusions: A significant minority of smokers in NY reported noticing changes in the performance of their cigarettes following the RIP law, as would be expected. However, the RIP law appears to have had no impact on the smoking habits of New Yorkers, countering arguments made by cigarette manufacturers that the law would impact consumer acceptability.

  • ASTM, American Society for Testing and Materials
  • ITC-4, International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey
  • NFIRS, National Fire Incident Reporting System
  • NY, New York State
  • RIP, reduced ignition propensity
  • fire-safe
  • cigarettes
  • survey
  • consumer perceptions

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