Description

The proposed research builds on studies underway at UNC’s P50 Center for Regulatory Research on Tobacco Communication to understand optimal ways to disclose harmful and potentially harmful constituent (HPHC) information. The FDA Center for Tobacco Products has been tasked with publicly displaying information about HPHCs in tobacco products and tobacco smoke using language and in a format that is “understandable” and “not misleading.” Legal scholars, therefore, need to define these terms in ways that behavioral scientists can then operationalize and measure. Thus, our first study aim is to operationalize the Tobacco Control Act’s language regarding comprehension of HPHC constituent disclosures (Aim 1). Key activities include having legal scholars establish a definition of key terms in the Tobacco Control Act to lay the groundwork for gathering policy-relevant evidence.
Recent formative studies have found that long lists of unfamiliar chemicals and their quantities are likely to confuse the public. Websites are a platform that may allow for accessible display of HPHC information in a user-friendly and flexible format. Informed by behavioral science and using evidence-based strategies to optimize health communications, we propose to design, test and optimize website variations to identify those that present information about HPHCs in a way that is “understandable” and “not misleading” to the general public. Thus, our second aim is to identify website characteristics that increase comprehension of constituent disclosures (Aim 2). After developmental work, we will conduct an online study with a population-based national sample of adolescents, young adults and adults, using a panel developed for the parent P50 grant. As lower-literacy audiences are disproportionately likely to smoke, we will identify website characteristics that lead to higher comprehension, with a special emphasis on people with lower literacy. The proposed work will inform the FDA as they determine whether and how to inform the public of levels of HPHCs in tobacco.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/19/138/31/18

Funding

  • NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI)

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nicotine
communication
website
comprehension
literacy
act
behavioral science
language
evidence
grant
young adult
communications
parents
adolescent
health