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UNC TCORS: Optimizing Public Display of Information on Tobacco Product Constituents

Principal Investigator: Kurt Ribisl

Funding Mechanism:   National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 3 P50 CA180907-03S1

Award Date: 8/31/2015

Institution: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


As directed by the Tobacco Control Act, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products is required to disclose information about harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in tobacco products to the public in a format that is "understandable" and "not misleading to a lay person."  The specific aim of this study is to identify website formats and content that increase comprehension of HPHC information, especially among people with lower health literacy.  To investigate this aim, researchers will meet with legal scholars to better conceptualize the Tobacco Control Act’s language regarding comprehension of HPHC information (i.e., "understandable," "not misleading"). They will also design and pilot test website variations for presenting information about HPHCs in ways that are "understandable" and "not misleading" to the public. After this developmental work, researchers will conduct an online study involving 1,400 adolescents (ages 13-17), young adults (ages 18-25), and adults (ages 26 and older). The study will identify website characteristics that lead to higher comprehension and may inform regulatory activities related to the communication of HPHCs.