The Impact of Cigarette Packaging Design Among Young Females in Canada: Findings From a Discrete Choice Experiment

Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May;18(5):1348-56. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv114. Epub 2015 May 25.


Introduction: The tobacco industry uses various aspects of cigarette packaging design to market to specific groups. The current study examined the relative importance of five cigarette packaging attributes--pack structure (eg, "slims"), brand, branding, warning label size, and price--on perceptions of product taste, harm, and interest in trying, among young females in Canada.

Methods: A discrete choice experiment was conducted with smoking and nonsmoking females, aged 16 to 24 (N = 448). Respondents were shown 10 choice sets, each containing four packs with different combinations of the attributes: pack structure (slim, lipstick, booklet, traditional); brand ("Vogue," "du Maurier"); branding (branded, plain); warning label size (50%, 75%); and price ($8.45, $10.45). For each choice set, respondents chose the brand that they: (1) would rather try, (2) would taste better, and (3) would be less harmful, or "none." For each outcome, the attributes' impact on consumer choice was analyzed using a multinomial logit model.

Results: The multinomial logit analyses revealed that young females weighted pack structure to be most important to their intention to try (46%), judgment of product taste (52%), and judgment of product harm (48%). Price and branding were weighted important in trial intent decisions (23% and 18%, respectively) and product taste judgments (29% and 15%, respectively). Whereas warning label size and brand were weighted important when judging product harm (23% and 17%, respectively).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that standardized cigarette packaging may decrease demand and reduce misleading perceptions about product harm among young females.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Canada
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Commerce
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Judgment
  • Logistic Models
  • Product Packaging*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Industry*
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Young Adult