Testing competing explanations for graphic warning label effects among adult smokers and non-smoking youth

Christofer Skurka, Sahara Byrne, Julie Davydova, Deena Kemp, Amelia Greiner Safi, Rosemary J. Avery, Michael C. Dorf, Alan D. Mathios, Jeff Niederdeppe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale: The United States courts have blocked the implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages (GWLs). This decision was based, in part, on the premise that GWLs are unnecessarily emotional and are meant to scare rather than inform consumers about smoking's health effects. However, research in judgment and decision-making suggests these relationships are more complex. Objective: In this article, we draw on several theoretical frameworks that lead to competing hypotheses about the relationships between negative affect, health risk beliefs, and quit intentions (among adult smokers) or susceptibility to start smoking (among non-smoking youth). Method: We tested these competing mediation models using data from two experiments with two populations each—adult smokers (Ns = 313 and 238) and primarily non-smoking middle-school youth (Ns = 340 and 237). Using mobile recruitment methods, we focused specifically on individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas of the Northeastern United States. Results: The best fitting model across all four datasets was one in which label-induced negative affect (a) directly predicted intentions/susceptibility but also (b) indirectly predicted intentions/susceptibility via risk beliefs. Although mediation analyses did not demonstrate significant serial mediation effects of label exposure on intentions/susceptibility through negative affect then risk beliefs, there was some evidence that label exposure indirectly promoted adults' quit intentions through negative affect. Additionally, negative affect consistently mediated the indirect effect of label exposure on strengthened risk beliefs among adults and youth. Conclusions: These results speak to the importance of negative affect in directly motivating adult smokers' quit intentions but also serving an informational function, directing adult smokers and non-smoking youth to accept the health risks of smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume211
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

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mediation
smoking
Smoking
health risk
Health
New England
Vulnerable Populations
Rural Population
Tobacco Products
Testing
Intentions
Warning
Decision Making
urban area
rural area
decision making
Susceptibility
experiment
health
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Skurka, Christofer ; Byrne, Sahara ; Davydova, Julie ; Kemp, Deena ; Safi, Amelia Greiner ; Avery, Rosemary J. ; Dorf, Michael C. ; Mathios, Alan D. ; Niederdeppe, Jeff. / Testing competing explanations for graphic warning label effects among adult smokers and non-smoking youth. In: Social Science and Medicine. 2018 ; Vol. 211. pp. 294-303.
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abstract = "Rationale: The United States courts have blocked the implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages (GWLs). This decision was based, in part, on the premise that GWLs are unnecessarily emotional and are meant to scare rather than inform consumers about smoking's health effects. However, research in judgment and decision-making suggests these relationships are more complex. Objective: In this article, we draw on several theoretical frameworks that lead to competing hypotheses about the relationships between negative affect, health risk beliefs, and quit intentions (among adult smokers) or susceptibility to start smoking (among non-smoking youth). Method: We tested these competing mediation models using data from two experiments with two populations each—adult smokers (Ns = 313 and 238) and primarily non-smoking middle-school youth (Ns = 340 and 237). Using mobile recruitment methods, we focused specifically on individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas of the Northeastern United States. Results: The best fitting model across all four datasets was one in which label-induced negative affect (a) directly predicted intentions/susceptibility but also (b) indirectly predicted intentions/susceptibility via risk beliefs. Although mediation analyses did not demonstrate significant serial mediation effects of label exposure on intentions/susceptibility through negative affect then risk beliefs, there was some evidence that label exposure indirectly promoted adults' quit intentions through negative affect. Additionally, negative affect consistently mediated the indirect effect of label exposure on strengthened risk beliefs among adults and youth. Conclusions: These results speak to the importance of negative affect in directly motivating adult smokers' quit intentions but also serving an informational function, directing adult smokers and non-smoking youth to accept the health risks of smoking.",
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Skurka, C, Byrne, S, Davydova, J, Kemp, D, Safi, AG, Avery, RJ, Dorf, MC, Mathios, AD & Niederdeppe, J 2018, 'Testing competing explanations for graphic warning label effects among adult smokers and non-smoking youth', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 211, pp. 294-303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.06.035

Testing competing explanations for graphic warning label effects among adult smokers and non-smoking youth. / Skurka, Christofer; Byrne, Sahara; Davydova, Julie; Kemp, Deena; Safi, Amelia Greiner; Avery, Rosemary J.; Dorf, Michael C.; Mathios, Alan D.; Niederdeppe, Jeff.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 211, 01.08.2018, p. 294-303.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Testing competing explanations for graphic warning label effects among adult smokers and non-smoking youth

AU - Skurka, Christofer

AU - Byrne, Sahara

AU - Davydova, Julie

AU - Kemp, Deena

AU - Safi, Amelia Greiner

AU - Avery, Rosemary J.

AU - Dorf, Michael C.

AU - Mathios, Alan D.

AU - Niederdeppe, Jeff

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N2 - Rationale: The United States courts have blocked the implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages (GWLs). This decision was based, in part, on the premise that GWLs are unnecessarily emotional and are meant to scare rather than inform consumers about smoking's health effects. However, research in judgment and decision-making suggests these relationships are more complex. Objective: In this article, we draw on several theoretical frameworks that lead to competing hypotheses about the relationships between negative affect, health risk beliefs, and quit intentions (among adult smokers) or susceptibility to start smoking (among non-smoking youth). Method: We tested these competing mediation models using data from two experiments with two populations each—adult smokers (Ns = 313 and 238) and primarily non-smoking middle-school youth (Ns = 340 and 237). Using mobile recruitment methods, we focused specifically on individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas of the Northeastern United States. Results: The best fitting model across all four datasets was one in which label-induced negative affect (a) directly predicted intentions/susceptibility but also (b) indirectly predicted intentions/susceptibility via risk beliefs. Although mediation analyses did not demonstrate significant serial mediation effects of label exposure on intentions/susceptibility through negative affect then risk beliefs, there was some evidence that label exposure indirectly promoted adults' quit intentions through negative affect. Additionally, negative affect consistently mediated the indirect effect of label exposure on strengthened risk beliefs among adults and youth. Conclusions: These results speak to the importance of negative affect in directly motivating adult smokers' quit intentions but also serving an informational function, directing adult smokers and non-smoking youth to accept the health risks of smoking.

AB - Rationale: The United States courts have blocked the implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages (GWLs). This decision was based, in part, on the premise that GWLs are unnecessarily emotional and are meant to scare rather than inform consumers about smoking's health effects. However, research in judgment and decision-making suggests these relationships are more complex. Objective: In this article, we draw on several theoretical frameworks that lead to competing hypotheses about the relationships between negative affect, health risk beliefs, and quit intentions (among adult smokers) or susceptibility to start smoking (among non-smoking youth). Method: We tested these competing mediation models using data from two experiments with two populations each—adult smokers (Ns = 313 and 238) and primarily non-smoking middle-school youth (Ns = 340 and 237). Using mobile recruitment methods, we focused specifically on individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in rural and urban areas of the Northeastern United States. Results: The best fitting model across all four datasets was one in which label-induced negative affect (a) directly predicted intentions/susceptibility but also (b) indirectly predicted intentions/susceptibility via risk beliefs. Although mediation analyses did not demonstrate significant serial mediation effects of label exposure on intentions/susceptibility through negative affect then risk beliefs, there was some evidence that label exposure indirectly promoted adults' quit intentions through negative affect. Additionally, negative affect consistently mediated the indirect effect of label exposure on strengthened risk beliefs among adults and youth. Conclusions: These results speak to the importance of negative affect in directly motivating adult smokers' quit intentions but also serving an informational function, directing adult smokers and non-smoking youth to accept the health risks of smoking.

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