Adult Smokers’ Responses to “Corrective Statements” Regarding Tobacco Industry Deception


      To inform consumers, U.S. Federal Courts have ordered the tobacco industry to disseminate “corrective statements” (CSs) about their deception regarding five topics: smoker health effects, nonsmoker health effects, cigarette addictiveness, design of cigarettes to increase addiction, and relative safety of light cigarettes.


      To determine how smokers from diverse backgrounds respond to the final, court-mandated wording of these CSs.


      Data were analyzed from an online consumer panel of 1,404 adult smokers who evaluated one of five CS topics (n=280–281) by reporting novelty, relevance, anger at the industry, and motivation to quit because of the CS. Logistic and linear regression models assessed main and interactive effects of race/ethnicity, gender, education, and CS topic on these responses. Data were collected in January 2013 and analyzed in March 2013.


      Thirty percent to 54% of participants reported that each CS provided novel information, and novelty was associated with greater relevance, anger at the industry, and motivation to quit because of the message. African Americans and Latinos were more likely than non-Hispanic whites to report that CSs were novel, and they had stronger responses to CSs across all indicators. Compared to men, women reported that CSs were more relevant and motivated them to quit.


      This study suggests that smokers would value and respond to CSs, particularly smokers from groups that suffer from tobacco-related health disparities.
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