Influence of premium vs masked cigarette brand names on the experienced taste of a cigarette after tobacco plain packaging in Australia: an experimental study

Gemma Skaczkowski, S Durkin, Y Kashima, M Wakefield
Few studies have experimentally assessed the contribution of branding to the experience of smoking a cigarette, compared with the inherent properties of the product. This study examined the influence of cigarette brand name on the sensory experience of smoking a cigarette. Methods: Seventy-five Australian smokers aged 18-39 years smoked two 'premium' cigarettes, one with the brand variant name shown and one with the brand variant name masked (which provided 'objective' ratings). Unknown to
more » ... cipants, the two cigarettes were identical. At recruitment, participants rated their expected enjoyment, quality and harshness of several premium cigarette brands. Results: Branded cigarettes were rated as having a significantly more favorable taste (M(SE) = 64.14(2.21)) than masked cigarettes (M(SE) = 58.53(2.26), p =.031). Branded cigarettes were also rated as being less stale (M(SE) = 36.04(2.62)) than masked cigarettes (M(SE) = 43.90(2.60), p =.011). Purchase intent tended to be higher among those shown the branded cigarette compared to the masked cigarette (χ2 (1) = 3.00, p =.083). Expected enjoyment and quality of the brand variant (enjoyment: b = 0.31, 95%CI = 0.11, 0.51, p .05). This pattern was not observed for cigarette harshness. Conclusions: A premium brand variant name can enhance the subjective experience of a cigarette. Further, smokers' expectations of such brand variants contribute to the smoking experience as much, if not more than, the actual qualities of the product.
doi:10.26181/19440971.v1 fatcat:rv45rmrqbbanbbmyqmuxfgya4a