Estimating demand for alternatives to cigarettes with online purchase tasks

Am J Health Behav. 2014 Jan;38(1):103-13. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.38.1.11.


Objectives: To explore how advertising affects demand for cigarettes and potential substitutes, including snus, dissolvable tobacco, and medicinal nicotine.

Methods: A Web-based experiment randomized 1062 smokers to see advertisements for alternative nicotine products or soft drinks, then complete a series of purchase tasks, which were used to estimate demand elasticity, peak consumption, and cross-price elasticity (CPE) for tobacco products.

Results: Lower demand elasticity and greater peak consumption were seen for cigarettes compared to all alternative products (p < .05). CPE did not differ across the alternative products (p ≤ .03). Seeing relevant advertisements was not significantly related to demand.

Conclusions: These findings suggest significantly lower demand for alternative nicotine sources among smokers than previously revealed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Commerce
  • Harm Reduction*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Tobacco, Smokeless*
  • Young Adult