Over the past decade or more, tobacco companies have introduced cigarettes with lower content of some toxins than regular and light cigarettes. These new cigarettes, referred to as a class as Potential Reduced Exposure Products (PREPs), have typically been introduced into test markets, not nationwide, which means they are not yet widely known or recognized by name or description by most consumers. However, the introduction of these products is of great concern to public health advocates, who do not believe that enough research, particularly long term research, has been done to know whether or not the PREPs, even if proven to have reduced toxins, actually present a reduced health risk. The fear in the public health community is that smokers who might have been motivated to quit may reverse those quit plans if they perceive an alternative, safer smoking option exists with the PREPs. Likewise, there is concern that former smokers could be tempted back to smoking and non-smokers could be tempted to initiate smoking if they too perceive that PREPs present lower health risks than other cigarettes. Having faced a similar situation with the introduction of “light” cigarettes – i.e. new product, insufficient research about its health implications -- public health officials are feeling cautious about PREPs and have called for development of a science to evaluate PREPs, as well as ongoing surveillance.
In order to obtain as complete a set of existing measures as possible, we reviewed published literature on consumer reactions to PREPs and solicited input about ongoing studies from members of the project advisory group, members of the Harm Reduction Network, and other members of the tobacco research community. Appendix A is a list of studies we have included in the summary of current data on the subject of PREPs surveillance. Appendix B is the full listing of PREPs-related questions for each included study.
Biener, Lois; Bogen, Karen; and Garrett, Catherine A., "PREPs Surveillance: Summary of Existing Survey Measures and Recommendations for Ongoing Efforts" (2007). Center for Survey Research Publications. 1.