P01 Emerging Products Core

Emerging Products Core

Co-Directors: Richard J. O'Connor, PhD, Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (USA)

The Emerging Products Core (EPC) will provide timely data to Project Leaders about current developments in the tobacco product market. It will borrow from the concept of ‘emerging infectious disease’ inasmuch as the EPC will focus on products whose profile (marketing, social media buzz) or use has increased in the recent past (12 months) and/or is likely to increase in the near future (12 months). Emerging products may be completely novel (i.e., a new form of nicotine delivery), a refinement of an existing product (e.g., a new NVP [nicotine vaping product] variety), or a product introduced into a new market (e.g., a Japanese heated tobacco product [HTP] introduced in the US). The underlying goal of the EPC is to serve as an ‘early warning’ system, across countries and time, for the identification and characterization of emerging tobacco/nicotine products that warrant further attention from the P01 Projects. In Specific Aim 1 we will identify emerging tobacco and nicotine products to inform INPAM projects. Using multiple modes and data sources including P01 sponsored consumer surveys, web scraping, social media rapid scans (e.g., Twitter), marketing reports (Nielsen and tobacco companies), stock analyst reports, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, patents submitted by and granted to tobacco companies), the EPC will identify and track emerging products, changes in sale/availability/prices of products, and changes in products (e.g., new versions) in each country participating in the P01. In Specific Aim 2 we will identify product characteristics that may drive product uptake and use among youth and adults. EPC will comprehensively assess those characteristics of a product that are known or expected to influence product use. Key decision points of concern are: 1) High nicotine content and delivery than comparator products; 2) Novel additive (e.g., novel flavoring or pH modifier) or higher-than-typical concentration of additives commonly used in tobacco products (e.g., cooling agents or sweeteners); and 3) Design element that may increase product appeal (e.g., user-adjustable settings; ease of concealment). The EPC will serve an active surveillance role, creating cross-sectional data about products that can support further research. That is, EPC can serve a hypothesis generating function that the Projects can translate into hypothesis testing. EPC data will provide a scientific rationale for expanding P01 surveys (Projects 1 and 2) to include specific product classes or brands and identifying potential new survey items to tap user perceptions of product differences/changes. The testing aspects of the EPC will also provide valuable data on nicotine delivery to the P01’s experimental (Project 3) and modeling projects (Project 4).