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Open Access Does Visual Attention to Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs Predict Key Outcomes among Youth and Low-income Smokers?

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This issue is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND (Version 4) This issue is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND (Version 4)
Objectives: In this study, we examined whether patterns of visual attention to graphic warning labels on images of cigarette packs predict key outcomes associated with warning label effectiveness. Methods: A mobile lab with 5 eye tracking stations traveled to socioeconomically disadvantaged communities to recruit biologically confirmed adult smokers (Study 1: N = 725) and middle school youth (Study 2: N = 767). We examined patterns of association between eye tracking measures and negative emotional responses, health risk beliefs, intentions to quit smoking (Study 1), and susceptibility to smoke in the future (Study 2). Results: In both studies, participants attended to warnings over branded content. Within the warning area, images attracted attention for longer than text. Findings differed between studies in how attention to content features predicted discrete emotions. Youth who gazed longer at the images in warnings reported lower susceptibility to future smoking. Conclusions: Images function as an important addition to text warnings, partly because they divert attention from branded content. Fixation on images associate with key outcomes, including negative affect and, for youth only, susceptibility to smoking.
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Keywords: EYE TRACKING; FDA; GRAPHIC WARNING LABELS; MESSAGE IMPACT FRAMEWORK; TOBACCO

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 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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