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Assessing and Magnifying the Impact of Cigarette Pack Health Warnings among Vulnerable Populations: An Integrated Study

Assessing and Magnifying the Impact of Cigarette Pack Health Warnings among Vulnerable Populations: An Integrated Study

Principal Investigator: David R. Williams

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID Number: 3P50CA148596-03S1

Award Date:  7/25/2012

Institution: Harvard School of Public Health 


Research is limited on the influence of factors such as social class, race, and ethnicity on the effectiveness of proposed graphic health warnings (GHWs) in the U.S. This one-year supplement will investigate the impact of proposed GHWs on smokers and non-smokers with a particular focus on low socioeconomic status (SES) and minority groups. Specific aims are: (1) to study the impact of GHWs on smokers and non-smokers from vulnerable population groups; (2) to assess which GHWs resonate with different population groups; (3) to examine if GHW effects last beyond the period of immediate exposure; (4) to examine the impact of GHW exposure on the diffusion and flow of information in online and off-line social networks; (5) to assess the community capacity to support local tobacco control efforts after GHW implementation; (6) to determine the cognitive, emotional, social, and potential behavioral responses GHWs produce in groups by ethnicity, teens who smoke or are at risk of smoking, and pregnant women who smoke or who are at risk of smoking relapse; (7) to test message strategies for campaign materials that could accompany the introduction of GHWs. Aims 1-5 will be investigated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard College; populations of interest are young adults (18-24) and adults (25+) with a specific focus on African-Americans, Hispanics, people of lower SES, adults with chronic disease, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender individuals, and blue collar workers. Aims 6 and 7 will be studied at the University of Connecticut; populations of interest are teens (aged 13-17) who smoke or are at risk of smoking and pregnant women who smoke or who are at risk of smoking relapse. Findings may be used to develop campaigns to support quitting or to reduce the likelihood of smoking initiation among targeted underserved populations. (Project completed in 2013.)