Effects of experimental income on demand for potentially real cigarettes

Mikhail N. Koffarnus, Arlington George Wilson, Warren K. Bickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cigarette demand, or the change in cigarette consumption as a function of price, is a measure of reinforcement that is associated with level of tobacco dependence and other clinically relevant measures, but the effects of experimentally controlled income on real-world cigarette consumption have not been examined. Methods: In this study, income available for cigarette purchases was manipulated to assess the effect on cigarette demand. Tobacco-dependent cigarette smokers (n = 15) who smoked 10-40 cigarettes per day completed a series of cigarette purchasing tasks under a variety of income conditions meant to mimic different weekly cigarette budgets: $280, approximately $127, $70, or approximately $32 per week. Prices of $0.12, $0.25, $0.50, and $1.00 per cigarette were assessed in each income condition. Participants were instructed to purchase as many cigarettes as they would like for the next week and to only consume cigarettes purchased in the context of the study. One price in 1 income condition was randomly chosen to be "real," and the cigarettes and the excess money in the budget for that condition were given to the participant. Results: Results indicate that demand elasticity was negatively correlated with income. Demand intensity (consumption at low prices) was unrelated to income condition and remained high across incomes. Conclusions: These results indicate that the amount of income that is available for cigarette purchases has a large effect on cigarette consumption, but only at high prices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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