Effects of filter ventilation on behavioral economic demand for cigarettes: A preliminary investigation

Jeffrey S. Stein, Mikhail N. Koffarnus, Richard J. O'Connor, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Warren K. Bickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction:The majority of cigarettes sold in the United States and abroad feature filter ventilation holes designed to dilute mainstream smoke. Although initially intended to produce a safer cigarette, data instead suggest that filter ventilation increases total harm from smoking. In the present study, we examined the effects of blocking ventilation holes on behavioral economic demand for cigarettes (i.e., consumption as a function of price). Methods: In a within-subjects design, regular smokers (N = 15) of ventilated cigarettes sampled vent-blocked cigarettes for 3 days. Subsequently, they completed three sessions in which they used an experimental income to purchase vent-blocked and/or control cigarettes across a range of prices. Participants also completed the Drug Effects/Liking Scale. Results: In sessions in which only one cigarette type was available, demand measures were undifferentiated between cigarette types. However, in sessions in which both cigarettes were available at equivalent prices, significantly greater preference for ventilated control cigarettes emerged in demand measures. Regardless of session type, participants also rated vent-blocked cigarettes more poorly in the Drug Effects/Liking Scale (more bad effects, fewer good effects, and less liking, desire, and less likely to use again). Conclusions: Removing filter ventilation reduced cigarette abuse liability, as measured by behavioral economic demand and the Drug Effects/Liking Scale. However, reduced demand was only apparent when both cigarette types were concurrently available.This selective effect suggests that regulatory action banning filter ventilation would only reduce cigarette consumption when effective substitutes for vent-blocked cigarettes are available. Implications: This preliminary study indicates that regulatory action designed to ban or restrict cigarette filter ventilation may decrease cigarette abuse liability as measured by both behavioral economic demand and self-report measures. However, effects of removing filter ventilation on demand measures appear to depend on concurrent availability of alternative, preferred cigarette types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1282
Number of pages5
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017. 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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