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Real Time Assessment of Young Adults' Attitudes toward Tobacco Messages

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Objectives: We used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to examine young adults' attitudes towards pro-tobacco messages encountered in real time and their association with intentions to use tobacco. Methods: Young adults (N = 92, ages 18-29) recorded sightings of marketing or social media related to tobacco in real time via mobile app for 28 days. Participants reported message characteristics, their attitudes towards the message, and intentions to use the depicted product for each submission. We used generalized linear mixed models to examine factors related to attitude towards message and intentions to use tobacco. Results: Messages depicting e-cigarettes (p < .001) or hookah (p < .05) were associated with significantly more favorable attitudes compared with traditional cigarettes. Positive attitude towards the message was significantly associated with intention to use the depicted product (p < .001). Messages depicting e-cigarettes and hookah were significantly associated with higher intention to use. Message source was not significantly related to attitudes towards the message or product use intentions. Conclusions: Marketing featuring e-cigarettes and hookah is an important target for future regulation. Given that pro-tobacco and e-cigarette messages are prevalent online, future research should consider the Internet and social media as important venues for countermarketing and intervention efforts.
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Keywords: ECOLOGICAL MOMENTARY ASSESSMENT; SOCIAL MEDIA; TOBACCO ADVERTISING; YOUNG ADULTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2018-01-01

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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