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Open Access The RICO Verdict and Corrective Statements: Catalysts for Policy Change?

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Objectives: A federal court ruled tobacco companies violated racketeering laws and ordered them to publish corrective statements. This study assesses effects of exposure to the statements and related court findings on attitudes toward tobacco-related policies and tobacco company influences on policymaking. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of US adults (N = 2010) prior to publication of the statements. Participants were randomly assigned to the "un- exposed" group (N = 1004), which answered attitude questions before reading the statements and court findings, or the "exposed" group (N = 1006), which answered attitude questions after reading the statements and court findings. Results: The exposed group was less likely to think lawmakers should trust tobacco companies as much as other companies (β = -.24, p < .001) or that lawmakers should trust tobacco company lobbyists to provide accurate information (β = -.17, p = .019), compared to the unexposed group. The exposed group also was more likely to support requiring graphic warning labels (β = .15, p = .014) and point-of-sale quitline signs (β = .13, p = .028). Conclusions: Exposure to the statements and court findings may aid tobacco industry denormalization and tobacco-related policy initiatives.

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Keywords: CORRECTIVE STATEMENTS; MEDIA; POLICY; RACKETEERING; TOBACCO INDUSTRY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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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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