||5R03CA212694-02 Interpret this number
||University Of Vermont & St Agric College
||Perceptions of Nicotine and Relative Harm of Tobacco Products in U.S. Young Adults
The wide range of tobacco and nicotine products available – and the lack of education on these products –
has likely has left the public confused about the relative harms of tobacco products, and nicotine more
generally. The extent to which young adults conflate the harms of nicotine with the harms of tobacco use could
have beneficial or harmful effects at the population level. Young people who believe that all nicotine and
tobacco products are equally harmful and addictive may avoid tobacco use altogether, more readily use the
more satisfying and harmful combusted products, or fail to pursue evidence-based nicotine medications to
assist in quitting tobacco use. Existing studies on tobacco-harm perceptions are largely cross-sectional and
NIH-funded research on tobacco harm perceptions has focused on the tobacco products themselves without
addressing perceptions of nicotine separately. Given the new tobacco marketplace and various forms of
nicotine available to today’s consumers, there is an immediate need to: 1) understand the interplay between
nicotine harm perceptions and tobacco product harm perceptions; and, 2) how these perceptions affect
susceptibility to use tobacco and nicotine-containing products and ultimately tobacco use patterns in the
population as a whole. The proposed study harnesses secondary analyses in longitudinal data from a large,
national sample of U.S. young adults (n = 4,100 young adults aged 18-34) with novel measures of nicotine
harm perceptions to produce an in-depth examination of the perceived harm of nicotine, the relative harm of
tobacco products, and the impact of these perceptions on tobacco-related intentions and behavior. Quantitative
analyses will: 1) examine perceptions of nicotine and relative harm of tobacco products in a national sample of
U.S. young adults and correlates of these perceptions (e.g., sociodemographics, tobacco use); 2) characterize
young adult subgroups based on their perceptions of nicotine and relative harm of tobacco products using
latent class analysis; and 3) describe the impact of nicotine and tobacco harm perception “class” on
longitudinal patterns in susceptibility and curiosity to use tobacco and tobacco use behavior. Findings from this
study are of particular importance given the imminent implementation of a required warning label (“This product
contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”) on tobacco products covered by FDA. The scientific
premise of this study is that a better understanding of perceptions of nicotine and tobacco products will guide
the development of more informative and effective tobacco product warning labels and other public education
Prevalence and correlates of nicotine and nicotine product perceptions in U.S. young adults, 2016.
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, Niaura R.S.
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Patterns and Frequency of Current e-Cigarette Use in United States Adults.
, Villanti A.C.
Substance use & misuse, 2019-06-21; , p. 1-7.
The Impact of E-Cigarette Warnings, Warning Themes and Inclusion of Relative Harm Statements on Young Adults' E-Cigarette Perceptions and Use Intentions.
, Sontag J.M.
, Hammond D.
, O'Connor R.J.
, Ohman-Strickland P.A.
, Strasser A.A.
, Villanti A.C.
, Delnevo C.D.
International journal of environmental research and public health, 2019-01-10; 16(2), .