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Communicating the Risks of Harmful Cigarette Smoke Constituents

Principal Investigator: Noel Brewer

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50CA180907-01

Award Date: 9/19/2013

Institution: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


New information about tobacco smoke constituents will have an uncertain impact on smoker behavior. It may prompt smokers to quit, or it may prompt them to switch to brands they perceive as less harmful and possibly smoke more. This project will identify the impact of new constituent information on smokers' risk beliefs and cigarette smoking; all studies and focus groups will include representation from vulnerable populations, including adolescents, low income populations, African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Specific aims are: (1) to identify cigarette smoke constituents that adolescents (aged 13-17) and adults (aged 18-65) find threatening and discourage them from wanting to smoke, by conducting 10 focus groups (with approximately 7-10 participants each) and a population-based telephone survey of 800 adolescents and 3800 adults; (2) to develop a library of cigarette smoke constituent risk messages that have been vetted in 14 focus groups (approximately 10 participants each) of adult and adolescent smokers and non-smokers and tested in 2654 Internet survey participants; and (3) to determine which pack labels most effectively increase adult smokers' cessation behaviors in a randomized controlled trial of 672 adult smokers. The results of this project may inform decisions regarding the type and placement of constituent-related health messages on cigarette packaging.


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