We assessed the reliability of a measure of the latent construct “smoking sensory experience.” We further measured the relationship between “smoking sensory experience” and smokers’ rating of the importance of the appearance of cigarettes/cigarette packs in brand choice and smoking dependence.Methods:
Analyses involved a national sample of smokers (n = 633) who participated in the 2010 South African Social Attitudes Survey (N = 3,112). Smokers ranked on a scale of 1-5, the importance of the following attributes in choosing their cigarette brand: health concerns, cost, packaging, taste, satisfaction, and flavor/strength. Using structural equation modeling, an a priori model was specified based on the hypothesis that taste, satisfaction, and flavor/strength are measures of a construct of “smoking sensory experience” and that cigarette packaging would be positively related to “smoking sensory experience.” Furthermore, “smoking sensory experience” would be positively related to cigarettes smoked per day.Results:
The latent construct—“smoking sensory experience” was considered reliable (Cronbach’s α = 0.75). The structural equation model confirmed that the specified model fitted the data well (goodness of fit index = 0.993; normed fit index = 0.978; root mean square error of approximation = 0.031). Higher “smoking sensory experience” was positively associated with increasing cigarettes smoked per day (β = 0.12). Higher rating of the cigarette package in brand choice positively covaried with both “smoking sensory experience” (β = 0.29), and higher rating of health considerations (β = 0.42).Conclusions:
These findings support the regulation of the appearance of cigarettes/cigarette packs to reduce cigarettes’ appeal and abuse liability in line with Article 11 of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.