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Open Access Effects of E-cigarette Advertising Messages and Cues on Cessation Outcomes

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Objectives: We examined effects of e-cigarette ad messages and visual cues on outcomes related to combustible cigarette smoking cessation: smoking cessation intention, smoking urges, and immediate smoking behavior. Methods: US adult smokers (N = 3293) were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk and randomized to condition in a 3 (message: e-cigarette use anywhere, harm reduction, control) × 2 (e-cigarette cue presence or absence) between-subjects experiment. Stimuli were print ads for cigarette-like e-cigarettes ("cigalikes") that were manipulated for the experimental conditions. We conducted ANOVA and logistic regression analyses to investigate effects of the manipulations. Results: Message effects on cessation intention and smoking urges were not statistically significant. There was no evidence of cue effects or message × cue interactions across outcomes. Contrary to expectations, e-cigarette use anywhere and harm reduction messages were associated with lower odds of immediate smoking than the control message (AOREUA = 0.75, 95%CI = 0.58, 0.97, p = .026; AORHR = 0.72, 95%CI = 0.55, 0.93, p = .013). Conclusions: E-cigarette use anywhere and harm reduction messages may encourage smoking cessation, given the observed reduction in immediate smoking. E-cigarette cues may not influence smoking cessation outcomes. Future studies should investigate whether message effects are a result of smokers believing e-cigarettes to be effective cessation aids.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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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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