Principal Investigators: Michele Carbone, Pallav Pokhrel
Funding Mechanism: Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority (IDDA)
ID Number: 3P30CA07178914S4
Award Date: 4/14/2014
Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may be considered as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, especially among younger smokers. E-cigarettes may be perceived as less dangerous than cigarettes, despite the fact that the health consequences of e-cigarette use are not well understood. The goal of the study is to evaluate whether e-cigarette marketing encourages consumer perceptions that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than cigarettes. Specific aims are: (1) to qualitatively assess young adult cigarette smokers’ perceptions of e-cigarette advertisements and develop explicit and implicit measures of e-cigarette-related attitudes; and (2) to test whether exposure to e-cigarette advertisements is associated with attitudes that e-cigarettes are healthier alternatives to cigarettes and with greater e-cigarette use susceptibility, as well as whether the relationship between e-cigarette advertisement exposure and use susceptibility is mediated by attitude measures. To address Aim 1, researchers will conduct 12 focus groups with 72 young adult daily cigarette smokers (aged 18-35) in order to qualitatively assess perceptions of real e-cigarette advertisements and to develop attitude measures that will be used to pursue the second aim. To address Aim 2, researchers will conduct a laboratory-based study with 400 young adult cigarette smokers who will be exposed to either real e-cigarette advertisements or control images. After exposure, all participants will be assessed on explicit and implicit measures of attitudes toward e-cigarettes as less dangerous alternatives to cigarettes and on measures of susceptibility to future e-cigarette use. Research findings may demonstrate the association between exposure to e-cigarette advertising and attitudes toward e-cigarettes and e-cigarette use susceptibility, and may inform marketing-related regulatory activities.