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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101234

“Their Packaging Has Always Been Like a Power”: A Qualitative Study of U.S. Smokers’ Perceptions of Cigarette Pack Visual Design Features to Inform Product Regulation

1
Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
2
School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
3
Department of Interior Design and Fashion Merchandising, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 30 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Full-Text   |   PDF [287 KB, uploaded 17 October 2017]

Abstract

Cigarette packaging matters to consumer behavior. However, it is less clear which changes to packaging design would be salient for adult smokers. Such information is critically important to regulators in the United States who are charged with reviewing new tobacco products for their impact on population health. In this qualitative study, U.S. adult smokers (n = 33) participated in six telephone-based focus groups in March 2017. Separate groups were comprised of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) participants; participants with less than four years of post-secondary education; a mix of LGB and straight participants; and, the general population. All groups were purposely selected for diversity. Open thematic coding identified salient design elements used on cigarette packaging. Smokers articulated design elements’ use, meaning, and links with consumer behaviors. Three themes were identified: (1) the power of color, (2) supporting color with other design elements (e.g., logos/images, typography, the pack itself), and (3) the combined product brand experience of multiple design elements. Participants linked design elements to product characteristics and to consumer behavior (e.g., purchase). As the Food and Drug Administration is charged with regulating tobacco products, these findings suggest the importance of considering the cigarette pack part of the characteristics of a product. View Full-Text
Keywords: marketing; product packaging; smoking; United States Food and Drug Administration; tobacco products marketing; product packaging; smoking; United States Food and Drug Administration; tobacco products
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lee, J.G.L.; Averett, P.E.; Blanchflower, T.; Landi, N.; Gregory, K.R. “Their Packaging Has Always Been Like a Power”: A Qualitative Study of U.S. Smokers’ Perceptions of Cigarette Pack Visual Design Features to Inform Product Regulation. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1234.

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