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Recently, Testpoint selected the participants in a very particular market research: it involved users of electronic cigarettes, or in any case to people open to use electronic cigarettes, who received kits made up of devices and sticks with different flavors and aromas to be assessed in order to understand which flavours are most appreciated.

The world of electronic cigarettes

The world of electronic cigarettes or e-cigs is a complex and even fascinating world, full of interesting implications even for those who are not regular users of these devices.

Let’s start by clarifying that the electronic cigarette, in reality, has nothing to do with the traditional cigarette, except that it mimics its gestures, while it differs profoundly in form, content and functioning.

It is an electrical device that heats, boils and then evaporates a solution to which controlled quantities of nicotine can be added – with the aim of reducing addiction – and aromas of various kinds, natural and artificial.

Although it had already been patented in the United States in 1965, the first real electronic cigarette was marketed in China in 2003 by a pharmacist whose father had died of lung cancer.

Today there are many models and the sticks offer a great variety of flavours, from tobacco flavors to fresher and more mentholated ones, from fruity to sweet and creamy ones.

The interesting test we want to tell you about today focused on these flavours.

How the test was carried out

Testpoint recruited 250 people in Rome, men and women of different age groups, habitual or occasional users of electronic cigarettes for a truly unusual home product test: each participant received a kit including the electronic device and sticks of 7 different flavours they were required to test at their homes.

Each participant had to try each of the seven flavors for two days. The “tastings” had to be done in the order indicated in the instructions, so that the order of tastings was different (“rotated”) for different participants. At the end of each two-day session, through a link and using their credentials, respondents were required to answer a few simple questions contained in an online questionnaire.

At the very end, the questionnaire asked a few comparison questions between the different tested flavours in order to design a “flavor mapping”, i.e. a sort of ranking of preferences. In order to carry out this last part of the task, it was recommended that participants keep one stick of each flavor, so that they could be used for the final comparison.

Once the test was finished, the participants had to return used devices and sticks to Testpoint.