Table 1

Tobacco industry focus group data

CompanyYearLocationTopic/purposeNo. of groups/respondentsDemographics/methods
Philip Morris (PM)1997Boston, MassachusettsSmoker and non-smoker attitudes/perceptions of litter in general, and a range of issues surrounding cigarette butt litter32Six groups
  • Four groups of smokers: two groups 21–34-year-olds (white collar/blue collar); two groups aged 35+ (white collar/blue collar).

  • Two groups of non-smokers: one group of 21–34-year-olds; one group aged 35+; mix of white collar and blue collar.

RJ Reynolds (RJR)1992Santa Fe, New MexicoConsumer product idea generation33Two groupsThe two groups contained a cross-section of men and women smokers, 25–49 years of age and a cross-section of income levels, education and employment
Indianapolis, IndianaConsumer product idea generationTwo groups
Boise, IdahoConsumer product idea generationTwo groups
Providence, Rhode IslandConsumer product idea generationThree groupsTwo groups as above; third group with women who were primarily housewives
Dallas, TexasProduct idea generationTwo groups7-Eleven store managers
7-Eleven store clerks
Idea generationOne groupA combination of managers and clerks from previous Dallas group
RJR1993Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Madison, Wisconsin; St Louis, MissouriDevelopment of a more environmentally-friendly cigarette34
  • 12 triads and 2 focus groups per city

A cross-section of smokers that included men and women, high, middle and low education, high, middle and low income
PM1986Six citiesEvaluate 26 novel product ideas35693 interviewsSmokers recruited by mall intercept
PM1995Chicago, IllinoisConsumers' reactions to environmental issues36148 self-administered questionnairesMen and women smokers, aged 18–55 years old
PM1995Owings Mills, MarylandConsumers' reactions to environmental issues3620 one-on-one interviewsSmokers, men and women, aged 18–55 years old.
Tidy Britain Group1996UK (national)Attitudes of smokers towards cigarette disposal outdoors37918 interviews face-to-face on the streetA representative number of smokers in each of the categories of nation/region, age, sex and social class
British American Tobacco (BAT)1980UK
  • To provide information on the likely social pressure, if any, against smoking; and what priority anti-smoking feeling had among other social concerns.

  • To explore fully which components of smoking upset or annoy people and whether these differ between smokers and non-smokers.

  • To provide an opportunity for the confrontation of smokers and non-smokers.

  • To determine how smokers actually react to social pressure about smoking.38

  • Four groups

  • Four mini groups

  • Four mini groups

  • Four groups

  • Smokers, men 20–40, ABC1; smokers, men 20–40, C2DE; smokers, women 20–40, ABC1; smokers, women 20–40, C2DE.

  • Ex-smokers: two groups men 20–40, ABC; two groups women 20–40, C2DE. Never smokers: two groups men 20–40, ABC1; two groups women 20–40, C2DE.

  • Two groups of men, 20–40, four smokers, two ex-smokers, two never smokers.

  • Two groups of women, 20–40, four smokers, two ex-smokers, two never smokers.

  • New York City, New York

  • Cincinnati, Ohio

  • San Francisco, California

The dimensions of consumers' views of the social and regulatory aspects of smoking39Six groupsAll respondents were between 18 and 55 years of age. Men and women were equally represented in the groups held in New York and San Francisco, but in Cincinnati, one group was all men and the other was all women. Smokers and non-smokers.
  • Boston, Massachusetts

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • San Francisco, California

  • Los Angeles, California

  • Atlanta, Georgia

  • Dallas, Texas

  • Kansas City, Missouri

Smoking concerns in relation to other issues; meanings of and attributions towards smoking and smokers; responses to smoking in situational contexts; propensity of the anti-smoker to take action; and hypothesised pathological characteristics of the anti-smoker40
  • 89 group participants, 93 interviewees

Interviews in group and individual settings, administering written material and addressing parallel issues in both settings. Respondents were selected to ensure reasonable distributions of age, sex, socioeconomic status and smoking status.
RJR2004West Coast USATo meet the group and confirm that the newly formed company (Reynolds American) was committed to continuing the corporate social responsibility engagement and dialogue process41One groupMembers of a western state public health department and tobacco control group.
Seattle, WashingtonOne groupA doctor, a restaurant manager, a police officer, a parent–teacher association representative, a director of a non-profit community organisation, a leader of a local church, a student active in college social and student government affairs and an owner of a local convenience store.
Southeast USATo further the company's understanding of the actions expected of a responsible tobacco company41One groupMembers of the health department.
Bangor, MainePublic perceptions of the tobacco industry41One groupMembers of the greater Bangor, Maine community. That group included a member of the clergy, a parent–teacher association member, a mother of teenagers, an elected council member, a convenience store owner, a restaurant/bar manager, a college student, the director of a non-profit organisation and a police officer.
RJR2006West Coast USATobacco control policy issues41One groupThe head of a county lung association and a retired doctor who chairs a county tobacco control coalition
PM1998Dallas, TexasClean indoor air policies42Seven groups
  • Restaurant owners/managers

  • Managers of manufacturing workplaces

  • Non-smoking consumers

  • Smoking consumers

  • Workplace owners/warehouse companies

  • Workplace owners/manufacturing companies

  • Bar/restaurant managers

Brown & Williamson (B&W)1996
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Los Angeles, California

Identify the most promising selling propositions for ‘natural’ cigarettes4314 groups
  • 10 groups of smokers, 21–55

  • Two groups of smokers, 21–39

  • Two groups of smokers, 40–55

BAT1993Switzerland‘Ecological’ cigarette concept44Nine groups
  • Mixed sex group, 18–35; non-smokers and ex-smokers

  • Mixed sex, smokers 18–25

  • Three groups women smokers 18–35

  • Three groups men smokers 18–35

  • Mixed sex smokers 18–35; ecological sensitives

PM1992Seattle, Washington
Atlanta, Georgia
Litter, ashtrays45Six groupsSix groups: three smoker and three non-smoker. The smoking and non-smoking groups were broken into three age brackets: 18–24; 25–34; 35–50.
RJR1993Birmingham, AlabamaTo explore smokers' reactions to concepts that build on social responsibility, to aid in the development of direct mail pieces46Six groups
  • Two groups of male and female smokers, 25–60

  • Two groups of male smokers, 25–60

  • Two groups of female smokers, 25–60

  • Atlanta, Georgia

  • Boston, Massachusetts

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Dallas, Texas

  • Seattle, Washington

The purpose of the social aspect of smoking focus groups was to generate some discussion on concepts for new cigarette ideas that address issues of social and health importance4710 groupsTwo groups per city, smokers aged 35 and younger and aged 36 to 65
B&W1996Minneapolis, MinnesotaEnvironmentally-friendly cigarette concepts48Six groups
  • Two groups of smokers, 21–40

  • One group of smokers, 40–55

  • Three groups of smokers, age unspecified