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A Profile of Individuals with Anti-tobacco Message Fatigue

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Objectives: Message fatigue, a phenomenon of being tired of repeated exposure to messages promoting the same health behavior, may reduce the effectiveness of anti-tobacco messages, such as warning labels. As an initial step towards understanding the phenomenon, we examined predictors of anti-tobacco message fatigue. Methods: An online study (N = 1838) involving a non-probability sample of nonsmokers and smokers in the United States assessed anti-tobacco message fatigue and individual-level factors including demographic variables and smoking status. General linear models were used to analyze the data. Results: The multivariable results show that individuals who were younger, male, and had higher income and education reported higher levels of anti-tobacco message fatigue. African Americans reported significantly lower levels of message fatigue than other racial groups. Current smokers reported greater message fatigue than transitioning smokers and nonsmokers. Among current smokers, those with greater nicotine dependence reported higher levels of anti-tobacco message fatigue. Conclusions: These findings underscore the importance of segmenting the audience based on their levels of message fatigue and using more novel message strategies and delivery methods to influence populations with relatively higher levels of anti-tobacco message fatigue.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Georgia, Department of Communication Studies, Athens, GA, USA 2: Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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