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  1. Advancing Regulatory Science

Assessing Physiological, Neural, and Self-Reported Response to Tobacco Education Messages

CERSI Collaborators: Meghan Moran, PhD; Cui Yang, PhD; Doug Storey, PhD; Jennifer McKneely, MA

CERSI Subcontractors: Ian McCulloh, PhD

FDA Collaborators: Matthew Walker, DrPH; Mario Navarro, PhD

Project Start Date: July 17, 2019

Regulatory Science Challenge

Tobacco education campaigns are an important component of tobacco control and have contributed to significant decreases in U.S. smoking rates. Developing effective tobacco education campaigns requires testing message strategies to ensure that campaigns use the most effective messages for different target populations. This type of testing typically asks individuals to self-report their response to the message (e.g., whether the message would make them less likely to smoke cigarettes). While these self-report measures are useful, other methods, such as neuroimaging and assessing physiological response to the messages, can be useful and innovative supplements and may help refine the self-report measures.

Project Description & Goals

This project uses neuroimaging, physiological, and self-report measures to assess response to FDA tobacco education messages. Neuroimaging measures will assess brain activity and physiological measures will assess changes within the body (facial muscle movements, production of microsweat on the fingertips, and heart rate). Specifically, we will examine response to messages from “The Fresh Empire”, “The Real Cost” and “This Free Life” campaigns among a sample of adolescents and young adults. Ultimately, this work will contribute to our understanding of effective tobacco education messaging tactics and will identify mechanisms underlying such message effects.