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UCSF TCORS: The Role of Risk and Benefit Perceptions in Tobacco Control and Product Usage

Principal Investigator: Bonnie Halpern-Felsher and Pamela Ling

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50CA180890-01

Award Date: 9/19/2013

Institution: University of California San Francisco

Prospective longitudinal studies using comprehensive measures of tobacco use, perceptions and marketing are needed to provide specific scientific evidence about how marketing shapes decisions to use and stop using different tobacco products. This project will use a longitudinal cohort design to study the role of adolescents’ and young adults’ risk and benefit perceptions related to tobacco use, marketing, and control. Investigators will develop and test a comprehensive model concerning the relationships among pro- and anti-tobacco marketing messages, perceptions of tobacco risks and benefits, perceived product acceptability, and patterns of tobacco use. Subjects will include 1000 ninth graders (age 14) followed through high school and 1000 twelfth graders (ages 17-18) followed into young adulthood. Specific aims are: (1) to determine adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of risk (for disease, addiction, and death), acceptability, and benefits of using conventional, new, and emerging tobacco products (e.g., cigarettes, e-cigarettes, little cigars, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco, snus, dissolvables, compressed tobacco); (2) to determine the predictive relationships among perceptions of tobacco product risks, benefits, and acceptability and the onset, continuation, cessation, relapse, switching, and dual use of tobacco products; and (3) to identify contextual factors (exposure to pro-tobacco media, anti-tobacco media, warning labels, and smoking images) that influence perceptions of risks, benefits, acceptability, and subsequent tobacco use. This study will contribute to the understanding of how tobacco marketing impacts risk perceptions and tobacco use among adolescents and young adults.

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