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UT TCORS: Informing and Correcting Perceptions Regarding Tobacco Products in Young Adults

Principal Investigator: Alexander Prokhorov

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50CA180906-01

Award Date: 9/19/2013

Institution: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Mobile phone text messaging represents a highly promising delivery mechanism for information campaigns that provide accurate, easy-to-understand information about the potential harmful effects of tobacco products. This project will develop an innovative mobile phone text messaging system to educate young adults about the risks associated with tobacco use and tobacco product constituents.  Investigators will conduct a baseline survey of 640 low-income community college students (aged 18-25) to evaluate their attitudes, beliefs, and receptivity regarding conventional and new and emerging tobacco products, intentions to use, and comprehension of the risks of tobacco products and their constituents. Subjects will then be randomly assigned to receive one of eight text messages that represent a unique combination of depth, appeal, and framing. Investigators will again assess awareness, attitudes, receptivity, and comprehension regarding the harmful effects of conventional, new and emerging tobacco products (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, bidis, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, dissolvables, hookah), and will compare the efficacy of different types of text messages for different products. Investigators will also analyze whether demographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, tobacco use, health literacy) moderate comprehension prior to and after receiving text messages and moderate the effectiveness of particular text message combinations for specific products.  Specific aims are: (1) to assess the awareness, attitudes, receptivity, and comprehension of the harmful effects of conventional and new and emerging tobacco products among young adults; (2) to identify the most effective combinations of text message framing for communicating information about the potential harmful effects of tobacco products to young adults; and (3) to define and analyze key moderators of young adult awareness, attitudes, receptivity, and understanding of the harmful risks and constituents of conventional and new and emerging tobacco products. Findings from this study may help inform the development of new, impactful information campaigns that deliver messages to young adults that are easily understood and not misleading.


Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults (TCORS) Related Resources