Exploring Consumer Preferences for Cannabis Vaping Products to Support Public Health Policy: A Discrete Choice Experiment


Background:

Phase two of cannabis legalisation in Canada brought cannabis vaping products to the market. This decision was controversial due to an outbreak of vaping cannabis use-associated lung injury. This resulted in three provinces banning the sale of cannabis vaping products causing inequitable access. This study sought to explore consumer preferences for cannabis vaping products to inform cannabis policy.


Methods:

We used a discrete choice experiment to explore consumer preferences for attributes of cannabis vaping products. Attributes included type of device, price, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency, vape liquid content, product recommendations and Health Canada regulation. Participants lived in Canada, were aged ≥ 19 years, and had purchased a cannabis vape in the last 12 months. A multinomial logit (MNL) model was used for the base model, and latent class analysis to assess preference sub-groups.


Results:

In total, 384 participants completed the survey; the MNL model showed that price and potency were the most important attributes. A three-group latent class model showed that ~ 40% of the sample was driven primarily by Health Canada Regulation and were willing to pay $56 more for a product that was regulated compared to one that was not. About 33% of the sample was driven by price, and 26% was driven by type of device.


Conclusion:

While regulated status by Health Canada was most important to some consumers (~ 40%), nearly 60% of the sample were willing to make trade-offs in regulated status for products with a lower price. Therefore, policymakers need to consider the broader public health implications of banning cannabis vapes in some regions.

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