Fruit vs. Menthol: Consumer Preference in E-Cigarettes

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AAEA Members examine e-cigarette attributes

Our results point to a contradiction between facts and perception.

History was made in 2014, when adolescents used e-cigarettes more than regular cigarettes. This could be from the variety of flavors, variations in the strength of nicotine, and type. In an article released yesterday on PLOS ONE, three AAEA members search to find out how consumers differenciate their prefereces.
In the article “A systematic review of consumer preference for e-cigarette attributes: flavor, nicotine strength, and type,” Samane Zare, Mehdi Nemati, and Yuqing Zheng from the University of Kentucky review the top attributes that affect consumer choices.

Zheng said “our results point to a contradiction between facts and perception.” He gave the example that “adolescents could consider flavor the most important factor trying e-cigarettes and were more likely to initiate vaping through flavored e-cigarettes. In particular they like candy, fruit, and sweet flavored e-cigarettes the most. Sweet flavoring, in our research, was perceived as less harmful though several studies indicate otherwise due to certain flavor chemicals. If consumers were informed of the potential harm of using flavored e-cigarettes, their purchasing decisions might change.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview Yuqing Zheng, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit http://www.aaea.org.

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