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Open Access Increasing Effectiveness of Messages about Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke

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Objectives: Federal law requires informing the public on toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke. We sought the public's advice about communicating information about these chemicals. Methods: Adolescents, young adults, and adults (N = 59), including smokers and non-smokers, participated in 9 focus groups that discussed inclusion of messages about toxic chemicals on cigarette packs, in media campaigns, and on a website. We transcribed, coded, and analyzed focus group audio-recordings. Results: Participants had 3 suggestions for message content to increase the impact of messages about cigarette smoke chemicals. First, they wanted to see messages rotated more frequently to increase message novelty. Second, they recommended using stories and pictures to help connect people to the abstract idea of chemicals in smoke. Third, they cautioned against making messages that might seem overblown and could appeal to the rebellious nature of adolescents. Some participants mentioned that chemical information on a website might discourage people from smoking; others mentioned that people might use it to choose which brand to smoke. Conclusions: Legislation provides the impetus to design new chemical disclosure messages for cigarette packs and other media. Our findings can help increase the impact of these messages.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 2018

More about this publication?
  • 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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