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Constitutional Compliance, Credibility, and FDA-Regulated Tobacco Warning Labels

Principal Investigators: Sahara Elizabeth Byrne and Jeffrey D. Niederdeppe

Funding Mechanism:  National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID Number: 1R01HD079612-01

Award Date: 6/6/2014

Institution: Cornell University 

As groups at high risk of smoking, youth under age 18 and adults with low socioeconomic status (SES) are two main targets of tobacco control efforts. The goal of this project is to examine which variations of FDA-regulated health warnings are most effective for youth and low SES adults by testing various message strategies. Specific aims are: (1) to test message effectiveness by manipulating message elements (such as full color images and warning size) and to identify the elements capable of maintaining or increasing message effectiveness; and (2) to test strategies such as including third-party sponsorship on warning labels in order to increase perceptions of credibility and varying warning label language . To accomplish these aims, researchers will conduct seven randomized controlled experiments with a total of 3,840 participants by traveling in a mobile laboratory to locations where vulnerable populations reside. Populations studied will include: (1) low SES adult smokers over age 18 from rural communities (primarily Caucasian), (2) low SES pre-teens aged 11-13 from rural communities (Caucasian non-smokers), (3) low SES inner-city adult smokers over age 18 (Caucasian, Black, and Hispanic), and (4) low SES inner-city pre-teen non-smokers aged 11-13 (Caucasian, Black, and Hispanic). By using eye-tracking technology and evaluating participant reactions to various advertisements and packages with manipulated elements (e.g., color, images, language), researchers will measure attention to specific message attributes, message recall, health risk beliefs, perceived message effectiveness, intentions to smoke and to quit, emotional reactions, perceived message credibility, cognitive appraisal, self-efficacy, and message preference. Study findings may provide new information about how to design messages that achieve maximum effectiveness.

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