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Open Access Health Literacy and Attention to Cigarette Health Warning Labels among Rural 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: We evaluated the association of health literacy and attention to the pictorial imagery of 9 health warning labels (HWLs) in a tobacco advertisement among rural US smokers. We hypothesized that lower health literacy would be associated with greater visual attention to pictorial portions of HWLs and evaluated the association between health literacy and recall of advertisement elements. Methods: Adult smokers from Appalachian Ohio (N = 180) viewed a pictorial HWL encompassing 20% or 33% of a cigarette advertisement while eye tracking software recorded eye movements toward the advertisement. Health literacy was measured with The Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Results: Generalized linear regression revealed that every one-unit decrease in health literacy increased viewing time of the pictorial portion of the health warning label by 1.3 percentage points. Logistic regression revealed that the odds of recalling elements of the pictorial portion of the health warning label increased 20% for every one-unit increase in health literacy. Conclusions: Rural smokers with lower health literacy view pictorial portions of health warning labels longer than those with greater health literacy supporting that health literacy is an important consideration in health communications, including future cigarette warning labels.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 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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