Preliminary investigation of the advertising and availability of PREPs, the new "safe" tobacco products

J Behav Med. 2004 Aug;27(4):413-24. doi: 10.1023/b:jobm.0000042413.69425.aa.


The tobacco industry recently introduced a new set of "safe" cigarettes and nicotine delivery devices that purportedly entail reduced tobacco-related disease risk due to their lower level of some carcinogens and toxins. Little is know about the biological impact of these potential reduced exposure products (PREPs) and nothing is known about their advertising and availability. Hence, two pilot studies were conducted to examine the latter issues for the first time. In Study 1, we examined tobacco ads in 10 popular magazines 1998--2002 and found that only 1% of ads were for PREPs. In Study 2, we attempted to purchase PREPs in a random sample of 113 small stores and found that only 4.4% sold any PREP. These preliminary findings tentatively suggest that the industry might not yet be heavily invested in products that have the potential to increase tobacco use by decreasing its perceived harm. Studies with larger samples are recommended.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / statistics & numerical data*
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Carbon Monoxide / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Nicotiana / chemistry
  • Nicotiana / toxicity*
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Industry


  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide