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OSU TCORS: Comprehension of Health Risks in More and Less Arousing Affective Contexts

Principal Investigator: Ellen Peters

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50CA180908-01

Award Date: 9/19/2013

Institution: Ohio State University


Prior research suggests that the affect (e.g., goodness vs. badness, calming vs. exciting) aroused by health messages is a critical factor in tobacco users' long-term understanding of risk, and, therefore, in influencing quit intentions and usage. Investigators will evaluate the role of affective arousal in increasing cigarette warning label effectiveness and in making products appear less risky in brand advertising and promotion in smokers; affect will be manipulated through graphic images of health effects and smoking cues (e.g., a lit cigarette). Specific aims are: (1) to test the effects of graphic images that vary in arousal on smoker understanding of text-based smoking risk information; investigators will randomize adult smokers and adolescent smokers to an image condition that varies in arousal (no image, low, medium, or high arousal) and to a time point (immediate, one week, or six weeks) to test risk understanding, perceptions, and use; (2) to use a similar experimental design to examine arousal effects on long-term understanding of numerically-expressed health risks; investigators will test absolute vs. relative risks (in adult and adolescent smokers) and percentage vs. frequency formats (in adult smokers); and (3) to examine the effects of the presence/absence of pro-tobacco smoking cues on adult and adolescent smokers’ understanding of health risks at exposure and one and six weeks. This research will provide new information about how to present cigarette warning label health information in ways that maximize user understanding.


OSU Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (OSU-CERTS) (TCORS) Related Resources