Background Point-of-sale tobacco marketing has been shown to be related to tobacco use behaviours; however, specific influences of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton availability on cigarette purchasing intention are less understood by the tobacco control community.
Methods We conducted discrete choice experiments among an online sample of US young adult smokers (aged 18–30 years; n=1823). Participants were presented scenarios depicting their presence at a tobacco retail outlet with varying availability of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton. At each scenario, participants were asked whether they would purchase cigarettes. Generalised linear regression models were used to examine the associations between of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton with intention to purchase cigarettes overall and stratified by educational attainment.
Results Participants chose to purchase cigarettes in 70.9% of the scenarios. Offering price discounts were associated with higher odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes. Reducing the number of cigarette price tiers available in the store was associated with lower odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes. Stratified analysis showed that offering discounts on high-tier cigarette packs increased odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes among young adult smokers with at least some college education, while offering discounts on medium-tier cigarette packs increased odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes among those with some college education or less (eg, with a 10% discount, adjusted odds ratio [AOR]some college=1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21 to 2.16; AOR≤high school=1.44, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.93).
Conclusions Availability of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton could potentially influence cigarette purchasing behaviours among young adult smokers. Regulating these marketing strategies may, therefore, reduce education-related smoking disparities.
- advertising and promotion
- socioeconomic status
- tobacco industry
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