Cigarette Packaging of Low Nicotine Cigarettes

  • End date
    May 10, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Andrew Strasser
Updated on 10 April 2022


The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of changes in cigarette package color on smoking behaviors, harm exposure, and risk perceptions when using low nicotine content (LNC) cigarettes.


This project will utilize a randomized, parallel-design trial to examine the effects of low nicotine content (LNC) cigarette packaging on smoking behaviors, harm exposure, risk perceptions, and subjective ratings of cigarettes. The investigators will aim to recruit and randomize 500 daily smokers (~250 male, ~250 female) in a 35-day protocol. After completing a 5-day baseline period of smoking their own brand, participants will be randomized to a 30-day experimental period when they will receive either their own preferred brand (control), or LNC cigarettes in one of four types of packaging: standard investigational (gray packaging); red, or blue (tobacco industry strategy); or plain packaging (tobacco control strategy). Participants will be asked to attend 5 in-person sessions at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction (CIRNA) on Days 0, 5, 10, 20 & 35. At Intake and Days 15, 25 and 30 participants will complete sessions with research staff remotely (i.e. by video call). Sessions will occur every 4-6 days, for a total of 5 in-person and 4 remote sessions across 35 days.

Condition Smoking, Cigarette
Treatment LNC Cigarettes + Colored Packaging, Own Brand
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03802019
SponsorAndrew Strasser
Last Modified on10 April 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Self-report smoking at least 5 non-menthol, filtered cigarettes per day for at least the last 12 months
Not currently undergoing smoking cessation treatment or planning to quit over the duration of the study (~5 weeks)
Plan to live in the area for the duration of the study
Capable of giving written informed consent, which includes compliance with the requirements and restrictions listed in the combined consent and HIPAA form
Able to communicate fluently in English (i.e., speaking, writing, and reading)

Exclusion Criteria

Smoke menthol cigarettes greater than 20% of the time
Smoke cigarettes of non-standard circumference (e.g., wides, slim, capri, etc.)
Use of any nicotine containing products other than cigarettes. Participants reporting isolated use of other nicotine containing products less than 5 times per month are eligible to participate
Attempt to quit smoking over the duration of the study period
Provide a Carbon Monoxide (CO) reading less than 5 parts per million (ppm) at Session 1 (D0)
History of substance abuse (other than nicotine) in the past 12 months and/or currently receiving medical treatment for substance abuse. Attendance at alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous meetings will not be considered medical treatment for the purposes of this protocol
Current alcohol consumption that exceeds 25 standard drinks/week
Women, including all individuals assigned as "female" at birth, who are pregnant, breast feeding, or planning a pregnancy over the duration of the study period
Any impairment including, but not limited to, visual, physical, and/or neurological impairments preventing the proper completion of the study procedures. Notable impairments will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Principal Investigator and/or the Study Physician
Color blindness
Serious or unstable medical condition. Applicable conditions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Principal Investigator and/or the Study Physician
Lifetime history of schizophrenia, psychosis, and/or bipolar disorder
Current diagnosis of active major depression. Participants who maintain a diagnosis of major depression who have not experienced any major depressive episodes in the past 6 months and are stable on antidepressant medication(s) are eligible to participate
Additional, general reasons for exclusion include
Past, current, anticipated, or pending enrollment in another research program over the study period that could potentially impact subject safety, study data, and/or the study design as determined by the Principal Investigator and/or Study Physician
Any circumstance, medical condition, illness, disorder, adverse event (AE), or concomitant medication that could compromise participant safety or significantly impact study performance as determined by the Principal Investigator and/or Study Physician. Participants may be withdrawn for any of the aforementioned reasons at any point throughout the study
Significant non-compliance with protocol and/or study design as determined by the Principal Investigator and/or Study Physician. Participants may be withdrawn at any point throughout the study
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