Project Summary: E-Cigarettes and Youth: Tests of Strategies to Prevent
While electronic cigarettes have been used successfully as a cessation tool, recreational
use of e-cigarettes by non-smoking youth has increased dramatically in recent years.
This study tests how variations in modified risk statements, novelty flavors, and flavor
representation (pictorial images vs. plain-text flavor names) influence how middle school
youth perceive e-cigarettes and their susceptibility toward use. This research helps to
identify communication strategies that minimize recreational uptake of e-cigarettes by
middle school youth. Two randomly-assigned, between-subjects experiments will be
conducted on a verified middle school sample. The first with vary whether or not
participants view a modified risk statement alongside the FDA warning on e-cigarette
packages, as well as the type of modified risk statement (abstract health consequence
mentioned vs. specific health consequence mentioned). The second study will vary
whether or not participants view e-liquid vials with tobacco flavor or a novelty flavor
(menthol, fruit, candy, goth). Outcome measures include risk perceptions, message
comprehension, harm minimizing beliefs, susceptibility, and behavioral intentions toward
e-cigarette uptake. This research project builds the literature on the perceptions and
influence of e-cigarette labeling on youth.
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