Cigarette pack messages about toxic chemicals: A randomised clinical trial

Noel T Brewer, Michelle Jeong, Jennifer R. Mendel, Marissa G. Hall, Dongyu Zhang, Humberto Parada, Marcella Boynton Hansen, Seth M. Noar, Sabeeh A. Baig, Jennifer C. Morgan, Kurt M Ribisl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background The USA can require tobacco companies to disclose information about harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, but the impact of these messages is uncertain. We sought to assess the effect of placing messages about toxic chemicals on smokers' cigarette packs. Methods Participants were 719 adult cigarette smokers from California, USA, recruited from September 2016 through March 2017. We randomly assigned smokers to receive either factual messages about chemicals in cigarette smoke and their health harms (intervention) or messages about not littering cigarette butts (control) on the side of their cigarette packs for 3 weeks. The primary trial outcome was intention to quit smoking. Results In intent-to-treat analyses, smokers whose packs had chemical messages did not have higher intentions to quit smoking at the end of the trial than those whose packs had control messages (P=0.56). Compared with control messages, chemical messages led to higher awareness of the chemicals (28% vs 15%, P<0.001) and health harms (60% vs 52%, P=0.02) featured in the messages. In addition, chemical messages led to greater negative affect, thinking about the chemicals in cigarettes and the harms of smoking, conversations about the messages and forgoing a cigarette (all P<0.05). Discussion Chemical messages on cigarette packs did not lead to higher intentions to quit among smokers in our trial. However, chemical messages informed smokers of chemicals in cigarettes and harms of smoking, which directly supports their implementation and would be critical to defending the messages against cigarette company legal challenges. Trial registration number NCT02785484.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages74-80
Number of pages7
JournalTobacco control
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Poisons
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nicotine
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conversation
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Keywords

  • carcinogens
  • packaging and labelling
  • prevention
  • public policy
  • smoking caused disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Cigarette pack messages about toxic chemicals : A randomised clinical trial. / Brewer, Noel T; Jeong, Michelle; Mendel, Jennifer R.; Hall, Marissa G.; Zhang, Dongyu; Parada, Humberto; Hansen, Marcella Boynton; Noar, Seth M.; Baig, Sabeeh A.; Morgan, Jennifer C.; Ribisl, Kurt M.

In: Tobacco control, Vol. 28, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 74-80.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brewer, NT, Jeong, M, Mendel, JR, Hall, MG, Zhang, D, Parada, H, Hansen, MB, Noar, SM, Baig, SA, Morgan, JC & Ribisl, KM 2019, 'Cigarette pack messages about toxic chemicals: A randomised clinical trial', Tobacco control, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 74-80. https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-054112
Brewer, Noel T ; Jeong, Michelle ; Mendel, Jennifer R. ; Hall, Marissa G. ; Zhang, Dongyu ; Parada, Humberto ; Hansen, Marcella Boynton ; Noar, Seth M. ; Baig, Sabeeh A. ; Morgan, Jennifer C. ; Ribisl, Kurt M. / Cigarette pack messages about toxic chemicals : A randomised clinical trial. In: Tobacco control. 2019 ; Vol. 28, No. 1. pp. 74-80.
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abstract = "Background The USA can require tobacco companies to disclose information about harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, but the impact of these messages is uncertain. We sought to assess the effect of placing messages about toxic chemicals on smokers' cigarette packs. Methods Participants were 719 adult cigarette smokers from California, USA, recruited from September 2016 through March 2017. We randomly assigned smokers to receive either factual messages about chemicals in cigarette smoke and their health harms (intervention) or messages about not littering cigarette butts (control) on the side of their cigarette packs for 3 weeks. The primary trial outcome was intention to quit smoking. Results In intent-to-treat analyses, smokers whose packs had chemical messages did not have higher intentions to quit smoking at the end of the trial than those whose packs had control messages (P=0.56). Compared with control messages, chemical messages led to higher awareness of the chemicals (28{\%} vs 15{\%}, P<0.001) and health harms (60{\%} vs 52{\%}, P=0.02) featured in the messages. In addition, chemical messages led to greater negative affect, thinking about the chemicals in cigarettes and the harms of smoking, conversations about the messages and forgoing a cigarette (all P<0.05). Discussion Chemical messages on cigarette packs did not lead to higher intentions to quit among smokers in our trial. However, chemical messages informed smokers of chemicals in cigarettes and harms of smoking, which directly supports their implementation and would be critical to defending the messages against cigarette company legal challenges. Trial registration number NCT02785484.",
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AU - Hansen, Marcella Boynton

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N2 - Background The USA can require tobacco companies to disclose information about harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, but the impact of these messages is uncertain. We sought to assess the effect of placing messages about toxic chemicals on smokers' cigarette packs. Methods Participants were 719 adult cigarette smokers from California, USA, recruited from September 2016 through March 2017. We randomly assigned smokers to receive either factual messages about chemicals in cigarette smoke and their health harms (intervention) or messages about not littering cigarette butts (control) on the side of their cigarette packs for 3 weeks. The primary trial outcome was intention to quit smoking. Results In intent-to-treat analyses, smokers whose packs had chemical messages did not have higher intentions to quit smoking at the end of the trial than those whose packs had control messages (P=0.56). Compared with control messages, chemical messages led to higher awareness of the chemicals (28% vs 15%, P<0.001) and health harms (60% vs 52%, P=0.02) featured in the messages. In addition, chemical messages led to greater negative affect, thinking about the chemicals in cigarettes and the harms of smoking, conversations about the messages and forgoing a cigarette (all P<0.05). Discussion Chemical messages on cigarette packs did not lead to higher intentions to quit among smokers in our trial. However, chemical messages informed smokers of chemicals in cigarettes and harms of smoking, which directly supports their implementation and would be critical to defending the messages against cigarette company legal challenges. Trial registration number NCT02785484.

AB - Background The USA can require tobacco companies to disclose information about harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, but the impact of these messages is uncertain. We sought to assess the effect of placing messages about toxic chemicals on smokers' cigarette packs. Methods Participants were 719 adult cigarette smokers from California, USA, recruited from September 2016 through March 2017. We randomly assigned smokers to receive either factual messages about chemicals in cigarette smoke and their health harms (intervention) or messages about not littering cigarette butts (control) on the side of their cigarette packs for 3 weeks. The primary trial outcome was intention to quit smoking. Results In intent-to-treat analyses, smokers whose packs had chemical messages did not have higher intentions to quit smoking at the end of the trial than those whose packs had control messages (P=0.56). Compared with control messages, chemical messages led to higher awareness of the chemicals (28% vs 15%, P<0.001) and health harms (60% vs 52%, P=0.02) featured in the messages. In addition, chemical messages led to greater negative affect, thinking about the chemicals in cigarettes and the harms of smoking, conversations about the messages and forgoing a cigarette (all P<0.05). Discussion Chemical messages on cigarette packs did not lead to higher intentions to quit among smokers in our trial. However, chemical messages informed smokers of chemicals in cigarettes and harms of smoking, which directly supports their implementation and would be critical to defending the messages against cigarette company legal challenges. Trial registration number NCT02785484.

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