One size does not fit all: how the tobacco industry has altered cigarette design to target consumer groups with specific psychological and psychosocial needs

Addiction. 2003 Nov;98(11):1547-61. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2003.00563.x.


Aims: To identify whether the tobacco industry has targeted cigarette product design towards individuals with varying psychological/psychosocial needs.

Design: Internal industry documents were identified through searches of an online archival document research tool database using relevancy criteria of consumer segmentation and needs assessment.

Findings: The industry segmented consumer markets based on psychological needs (stress relief, behavioral arousal, performance enhancement, obesity reduction) and psychosocial needs (social acceptance, personal image). Associations between these segments and smoking behaviors, brand and design preferences were used to create cigarette brands targeting individuals with these needs.

Conclusions: Cigarette brands created to address the psychological/psychosocial needs of smokers may increase the likelihood of smoking initiation and addiction. Awareness of targeted product development will improve smoking cessation and prevention efforts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / methods*
  • Advertising / trends
  • Documentation
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Personality
  • Product Packaging* / trends
  • Records*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Tobacco Industry / methods*