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Impact of Nicotine Messaging on Nicotine Beliefs and Tobacco Use Behavior

Principal Investigator: Andrea Villanti and Andrew Strasser

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 1R01DA051001-01

Award Date: 5/22/2020

Institution: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College

The public health impact of FDA’s proposed nicotine reduction policy hinges on the extent to which tobacco users and non-users understand the harms of nicotine in specific products (e.g., e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), reduced nicotine content (RNC) cigarettes) and how this understanding influences decisions made by non-users to try a product and by users regarding cessation, product switching, or continued use. Research has highlighted widespread public misperceptions of the health risks of nicotine. A brief nicotine corrective messaging intervention may correct misperceptions of nicotine, NRT, e-cigarettes, and RNC cigarettes. The goal of this study is to examine the effect of multiple exposures to a nicotine corrective messaging (NCM) intervention (compared to a delayed intervention control) on nicotine beliefs and intention/use of tobacco and nicotine products in U.S. adults (age 18 and older). Study aims are: (1) to test the impact of NCM on nicotine beliefs and the subsequent impact on intention and use of tobacco and nicotine products in a national sample of 715 adult smokers and non-smokers followed for 12 weeks; and (2) to test the impact of NCM (messaging vs. control) and nicotine content of study cigarettes (normal vs. reduced) on nicotine beliefs and subsequent use of tobacco and nicotine products using a 2 x 2 factorial design in a sample of 160 adult current smokers followed for 4 weeks (participants will be explicitly told which product they have been given). In both studies, participants will complete online surveys at scheduled intervals throughout the study period in which they will be exposed to up to six corrective messages and subsequently complete survey questions. Study findings will provide information about the potential of NCM communication efforts on tobacco use behavior in the general population and in adult smokers affected by a reduced nicotine content standard in combustible cigarettes. 

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