Principal Investigator: Irina Stepanov
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant
ID number: 5 R01 CA180880-02
Award Date: 8/4/2015
Institution: University of Minnesota
The Tobacco Control Act requires that the amounts of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) reported by tobacco manufacturers to the FDA be disclosed to the public in a format that is understandable and not misleading. Previous research, which was largely focused on cigarette smoke constituents, showed that consumers generally have inadequate awareness and understanding of the chemicals in tobacco products, and may be misled into believing that lower amounts of specific constituents in cigarette smoke directly translate into reduced health risks. However, research on consumer perceptions of constituent levels in smokeless tobacco products is extremely limited. The goal of this project is to investigate the comprehension of different presentations of smokeless tobacco product HPHC lists by conducting an online survey of 1,500 individuals ages 18 and older. Specific aims are: (1) to investigate differences in consumer understanding of information about smokeless tobacco product HPHCs displayed in two formats (graphic and numerical), as well as differences in health risk perceptions and search behaviors as a function of the display format; and (2) to investigate which consumer characteristics moderate knowledge levels, inferences, and search behavior in the context of the two different display formats. Study findings will provide important information on effective communication of smokeless tobacco constituent levels to lay persons in general and to smokeless tobacco users specifically.