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E-Cigarettes and Youth: Tests of Strategies to Prevent Recreational Use

Principal Investigator(s): Sherri Jean Katz
    
Funding Mechanism: Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority

ID number: 1R21CA246602-01

Award Date: September 16, 2019

Institution: University of Minnesota


Use of e-cigarettes by non-smoking youth has increased dramatically in recent years. The goal of this study is to test how variations in modified risk statements, novelty flavors, and flavor representation (pictorial images vs. plain-text flavor names) influence middle school youth (aged 11-14) e-cigarette perceptions and use susceptibility. Study aims are: (1) to determine how modified risk statements and the specificity of the health risks addressed by them influence middle school students’ perceptions of e-cigarettes and the FDA’s warning label; (2) to determine how flavor category influences middle school students’ perceptions of e-cigarettes and the FDA’s warning label; and (3) to determine how flavor representation influences middle school students’ perceptions of e-cigarettes and the FDA’s warning label. Two randomized experiments will be conducted on a sample of middle school students. The first, with 150 participants, will vary whether participants view a modified risk statement alongside the FDA warning on e-cigarette packages, as well as the type of modified risk statement (abstract health consequence vs. specific health consequence). The second experiment, with 550 participants, will vary whether participants view e-liquid vials with tobacco flavor or a novelty flavor (menthol, fruit, candy, goth). Outcome measures include risk perceptions, message comprehension, harm minimizing beliefs, susceptibility, and behavioral intentions toward e-cigarette uptake. Findings may inform communication strategies that minimize uptake of e-cigarettes by middle school youth.
 

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