Principal Investigator(s): Jane Lewis
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant
ID number: 1 U54 CA229973-01
Award Date: 9/14/18
Institution: Rutgers University
Extensive research has confirmed that cigarettes marketed as “light,” “low tar,” and “mild” were misperceived as having lower risks. In recognition of this, the 2009 Tobacco Control Act (TCA) banned the use of these descriptors in one of its earliest regulatory actions but did not address other misleading terms that studies have shown also suggest reduced harm for products utilizing them. One of these products is Natural American Spirit, a heavily-advertised and top-selling premium cigarette brand popular among young adults that promoted itself using the terms “additive free,” “natural,” and “organic.” The goal of this project is to provide additional scientific evidence on product descriptors that may imply a health claim, such as the terms “natural,” “additive-free,” and “organic.” Study aims are: (1) to understand consumer perceptions of brand name, descriptors (e.g., “organic”, “Tobacco Ingredients: Tobacco and Water”), and imagery advertising by conducting 12 focus groups each with 6-8 young adult (ages 18-24) smokers and nonsmokers; (2) to assess the effect of potentially misleading descriptors in print advertising on cigarette risk perceptions and use intentions among 2400 young adult (ages 18-24) smokers and non-smokers using a between-subjects online experiment; and (3) to examine population differences in tobacco perceptions, use intentions, and use between products that may imply a modified risk or health claim and other brand smokers, comparing them over time through analysis of Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study data. A secondary aim will be to monitor claims and images used in cigarette advertising with a longitudinal content analysis of print and direct mail advertising. Findings will advance the evidence base on the impact of misleading terms implying reduced risk.
UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Examining the Effects of Advertising, Packaging and Labeling Related Resources
- UPenn/Rutgers TCORS: Examining the Effects of Advertising, Packaging and Labeling on Perceptions, Use and Exposure of Combustible Tobacco Products
- UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Project 1: The Effects of Cigarette Package Color on Smoking Behavior, Exposure and Risk Perception when using Low Nicotine Content Cigarettes
- UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Project 2: The Effects of Advertising and Correctives for Reduced Harm Tobacco Products
- UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Project 3: Influence of Cigarillo Packaging and Labeling on Young Adults
- The original scientific abstract and other project information can be found on the NIH website.