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Tobacco minimum packaging policy to reduce cigarillo use among young people: results of an experimental study
  1. Darren Mays1,
  2. Andrea C Johnson2,
  3. Michelle Jeong3,
  4. Ollie Ganz3,
  5. Janet Audrain-McGovern2,
  6. Andrew A Strasser2,
  7. Cristine D Delnevo3
  1. 1Center for Tobacco Research, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Deparment of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry and Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Rutgers Center for Tobacco studies, Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences, Rutgers University and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Darren Mays, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH 43214, USA; darren.mays{at}


Objective The Food and Drug Administration has the authority to set a minimum for cigar pack size, a product feature linked to price. This study examined the effects of cigarillo package size and price on young adults’ smoking and purchase intentions.

Design Young adults (n=1032) 18–30 years old who smoked cigarillos in the past 12 months completed an online 3×2 within-subjects experiment testing the effects of cigarillo pack size (1, 2, 5) and price (actual price, standardised price per stick) on intentions to purchase and smoke cigarillos. We modelled the main effects and interactions of pack size and price on intentions to buy and smoke cigarillos overall and by cigarillo use frequency.

Results Intentions to buy and smoke were strongest for lower priced singles and two packs compared with higher priced five packs. Under standardised price conditions, participants preferred larger packs, but under actual pricing conditions smaller packs, especially two packs, were preferred. Participants who smoked cigarillos less than monthly were more likely to buy and smoke the least expensive products (buy: singles actual price adjusted OR (aOR)=4.51, 95% CI 3.76 to 5.42; two packs actual price aOR=9.76, 95% CI 8.11 to 11.75; five packs standardised price aOR=3.17, 95% CI 2.89 to 3.48) with the strongest preference for two packs and singles.

Conclusions Young adult cigarillo smokers prefer smaller packs in conditions where pricing incentivises smaller packs. Minimum pack size policies may reduce the appeal of cigarillos among young adults, especially less frequent cigarillo smokers. Pack size policy should take into consideration price, and ideally these two factors should be addressed together.

  • Price
  • Non-cigarette tobacco products
  • Packaging and Labelling

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors DM: conceptualisation, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing, data acquisition. ACJ: data acquisition, formal analysis, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. MJ: data acquisition, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. OG and JA-M: writing—review and editing. AAS and CDD: funding acquisition, conceptualisation, data acquisition, writing—review and editing. Guarantor: DM.

  • Funding Research reported in this publication was also supported by the NCI of the NIH and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (award number: U54CA229973).

  • Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the FDA.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.