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Electronic cigarette and moist snuff product characteristics independently associated with youth tobacco product perceptions.


ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Tobacco product characteristics convey product attributes to potential users. This study aimed to assess independent contributions of specific e-cigarette and smokeless tobacco product characteristics to adolescents' perceptions about these products. METHODS:In 2019-2020, students (N=1003) attending a convenience sample of 7 high schools in California (USA) were individually randomized to one of two discrete choice experiments, featuring either electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or moist snuff. Participants were presented like-product pairs of randomlygenerated hypothetical tobacco products differing in device type, flavor, vapor cloud, and nicotine amount (for e-cigarettes) or differing in brand, flavor, cut, and price (for moist snuff). Within pairs, participants were asked about which product they were more curious, was more dangerous, would give a greater 'buzz,' and would be easier to use. Conditional logistic regression was used to quantify independent associations of product characteristics to participants' choices. RESULTS:Each e-cigarette and moist snuff characteristic was independently associated with multiple product perceptions. All non-tobacco flavors were associated with more curiosity and perceived ease-of-use but lower perceived danger. Tank and pod-type e-cigarettes were viewed as easier to use and garnered more curiosity than 'cigalike' or 'drip-mod' devices. Smaller vapor cloud e-cigarettes and lower-price moist snuff were viewed as less dangerous, less buzz-inducing, and easier to use. Product ever users held stronger perceptions than never users about device type (e-cigarettes) and brands (moist snuff), while product naïve participants more strongly associated flavor with danger and buzz. CONCLUSIONS:Tobacco product characteristics convey product attributes to adolescents that may increase appeal. Restricting specific characteristics, including flavors, could reduce positive perceptions of these products among youth.

SUBMITTER: Chaffee BW 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7485438 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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