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Tobacco minimum packaging policy to reduce cigarillo use among young people: results of an experimental study


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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