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Estimating the Impact of Food and Drug Administration Regulation of Cigarette Package Warning Labels and the Potential Added Impact of Plain Packaging: Evidence From Experimental Auctions Among Adult Smokers

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

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.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/103169
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with number 103169.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103169
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  1. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
  2. Craig A. Gallet & John A. List, 2003. "Cigarette demand: a meta-analysis of elasticities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 821-835.
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