The Food and Drug Administration is now empowered to consider consumers'perceptions when evaluating modified risk'claims for tobacco products. From a marketer's perspective, shaping consumers'perceptions is fundamental to encouraging them to try, and ultimately adopt, a novel modified risk product. Consumer perception includes reactions to messaging (broadly encompassing knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, product expectancies and risk perceptions) and to product use (including behavioral, sensory and other subjective effects). A recent literature review recommended that researchers validate the wide range of consumer response measures available, understand how product messaging and product design interact to influence subjective response and risk perceptions, and understand relationships among subjective responses, risk perceptions and behavioral outcomes (4). The proposed research project is intended to address these research gaps and has three aims: 1) establish the sensitivity of consumer perception metrics to differences in product claim presentations in advertising;2) examine the contributions of cognitive, affective, and sensory perceptions to behavioral intentions to use a product;and 3) examine whether consumer perceptions are associated with product usage patterns in current smokers. The purpose of this research is to establish a validated set of consumer perception measurements that can be used by regulators to predict consumer interest in and use of new and modified risk products. This work will also aid our understanding of the multiple influences on consumer perceptions of tobacco products and their marketing. This project integrates with the clinical trial (Project 4) through its contribution of measures and evaluation of product usage, and with human abuse liability assessment (Project 2) through integration of purchase tasks.
There is a need for the development of a parsimonious set of measures that can reliably predict how consumers are likely to perceive and ultimately use new and modified tobacco products, as well as to understand mediators and moderators of product perceptions and response to product trial. Understanding the factors that influence how consumers perceive and are likely to use new and modified tobacco products is essential to the FDA's task of assessing population harm potential.
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