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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

Tobacco companies have used package quantity for consumer targeting

By Manjari Peiris

A research paper published in Tobacco Control - of BMJ Journals reveals how tobacco companies have used package quantity for consumer targeting. Package quantity refers to the number of cigarettes or amount of other tobacco product in a package.

Manny countries restrict minimum cigarette package quantities to avoid low-cost packs that may lower barriers to youth smoking. This study conducted by three researchers, Alexander Persoskie, Elisabeth A. Donaldson and Chase Ryant that tobacco companies had introduced small and large packages to motivate brand switching and continued use among current users when faced with low market share or threats such as tax-induced price increases or competitors' use of price promotions.

The companies had developed and evaluated package quantities for specific brands and consumer segments. Large packages offered value for money and matched long term, heavy users' consumption rates.

Small packages were cheaper, matched consumption rates of newer and lighter users, and increased products' novelty, ease of carrying and perceived freshness. Some users also preferred small packages as a way to try to limit consumption or quit.

The researchers had reviewed Truth Tobacco Industry Documents to understand tobacco companies' rationales for introducing new package quantities, including companies' expectations and research regarding how package quantity may influence consumer behaviour.

The researchers conclude that industry documents speculated about many potential effects of package quantity on appeal and use, depending on brand and consumer segment.

Source of Information:Tobacco Control - of British Medical Journals

- Asian Tribune -

Tobacco companies have used package quantity for consumer targeting
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