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Estimating the impact of pictorial health warnings and "plain" cigarette packaging: Evidence from experimental auctions among adult smokers in the United States

Author

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  • Thrasher, James F.
  • Rousu, Matthew C.
  • Hammond, David
  • Navarro, Ashley
  • Corrigan, Jay R.

Abstract

Objective To estimate differences in demand for cigarette packages with different packaging and health warning label formats.Methods Adult smokers (n = 404) in four states participated in experimental auctions. Participants bid on two of four experimental conditions, each involving a different health warning label format but with the same warning message: (1) text on 50% of pack side; (2) text on 50% of the pack front and back; (3) text with a graphic picture on 50% of the pack front and back; and (4) same as previous format, but without brand imagery.Results Mean bids decreased across conditions (1: $3.52; 2: $3.43; 3: $3.11; 4: $2.93). Bivariate and multivariate random effects models indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in demand for packs with either of the two text only warnings; however, demand was significantly lower for both packs with prominent pictorial warnings, with the lowest demand associated with the plain, unbranded pack.Conclusions Results suggest that prominent health warnings with graphic pictures will reduce demand for cigarettes. Regulators should not only consider this type of warning label, but also plain packaging policies for tobacco products.

Suggested Citation

  • Thrasher, James F. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Hammond, David & Navarro, Ashley & Corrigan, Jay R., 2011. "Estimating the impact of pictorial health warnings and "plain" cigarette packaging: Evidence from experimental auctions among adult smokers in the United States," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 41-48, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:102:y:2011:i:1:p:41-48
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Corrigan, Jay R. & Rousu, Matthew C., 2008. "Testing Whether Field Auction Experiments Are Demand Revealing in Practice," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(2), August.
    2. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
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    4. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey E. Harris & Ana Inés Balsa & Patricia Triunfo, 2014. "Tobacco Control Campaign in Uruguay: Impact on Smoking Cessation during Pregnancy," NBER Working Papers 19878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ellison, Brenna & Kirwan, Barrett & Nepal, Atul, 2015. "Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Bioplastic Plant Containers: An Experimental Auction Approach," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205670, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Ellison, Brenna & Bernard, John C. & Paukett, Michelle & Toensmeyer, Ulrich C., 2016. "The influence of retail outlet and FSMA information on consumer perceptions of and willingness to pay for organic grape tomatoes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 109-119.
    4. Frank Maier-Rigaud, 2013. "The Commission proposal for a European Tobacco Products Directive - A critical evaluation of the Roland Berger studies," Working Papers 2013-ECO-06, IESEG School of Management.
    5. Lencucha, Raphael & Drope, Jeffrey & Labonte, Ronald, 2016. "Rhetoric and the law, or the law of rhetoric: How countries oppose novel tobacco control measures at the World Trade Organization," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 100-107.
    6. Ellison, Breanna & Bernard, John & Paukett, Michelle & Toensmeyer, Ulrich C., 2015. "Are All Organic Labels Treated Equally? The Influence of Retail Outlet on Consumer Perceptions of and Willingness to Pay for Organic Tomatoes," 143rd Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, March 25-27, 2015, Naples, Italy 202706, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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