Literature review and summary of perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and marketing of potentially reduced exposure products: communication implications

Nicotine Tob Res. 2007 May;9(5):525-34. doi: 10.1080/14622200701239548.


Potentially reduced exposure products (PREPs) have continued to enter the market during the 1990s and first part of the 21st century. Attempts by the tobacco industry to develop and market products with implied reductions in adverse health effects (i.e., harm reduction) are not new. Over the last half of the 20th century, the tobacco industry developed and marketed several products that purported to reduce the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes. Among these were filtered cigarettes in the 1950s and light and ultra-light cigarettes in the 1970s and 1980s. This review summarizes published and unpublished research that is directly relevant to the marketing, advertising, and communication about PREPs. The marketing strategies for these new products do not appear to differ from those used by the tobacco industry for light and ultra-light cigarettes. Although smokers report not using the new products in large numbers because of dissatisfaction with taste, they are interested in using products with reduced risk. Despite the absence of explicit health claims by the industry for PREPs, many smokers believe that these products are safer based on the advertising claims of reduced exposure and a belief that claims are approved by the government. No data are available to indicate that PREPs are useful for prevention or cessation of smoking, nor does specific research exist to suggest what health communication messages will provide smokers with accurate information about these products.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advertising / methods*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Consumer Product Safety / standards*
  • Government Regulation
  • Harm Reduction
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Inhalation Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Industry
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • United States