Objectives: This study explored the relationship between product trials and consumer demand for alternative nicotine products (ANP).
Methods: An experimental auction was conducted with 258 adult smokers, wherein participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. The participants received the opportunity to try, but did not have to accept, one of three relatively novel ST products (i.e., snus, dissolvable tobacco, or medicinal nicotine), or they were placed into a control group (i.e., no trial). All the participants then bid on all three of these products, as well as on cigarettes. We assessed interest in using ANP based on both trial of the product and bids placed for the products in the experimental auction.
Results: Fewer smokers were willing to try snus (44 %) than dissolvable tobacco (64 %) or medicine nicotine (68 %). For snus, we find modest evidence suggesting that willingness to try is associated with greater demand for the product. For dissolvable tobacco or medicinal nicotine, we find no evidence that those who accept the product trial have higher demand for the product.
Conclusions: Free trials of a novel ANP were not strongly associated with product demand, as assessed by willingness to pay. Given the debate over the potential for ANP to reduce the harm from smoking, these results are important in understanding the impact of free trial offers on adoption of ST product as a strategy to reduce harm from tobacco use.
Published in Harm Reduction Journal, Volume 12, Issue 18, 2015.
© 2015 Rousu et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http:// creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Rousu, M., O’Connor, R., Bansal-Travers, M., Pitcavage, J., & Thrasher, J. (2015). The Impact of Free Trial Acceptance on Demand for Alternative Nicotine Products: Evidence from Experimental Auctions. Harm Reduction Journal, 12(1). doi: 10.1186/s12954-015-0052-3