My career goals are to (1) characterize the types and content of tobacco communications to which people are exposed, (2) study their potential impact on peoples'tobacco attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and (3) develop effective communications to improve public health. Much of my work thus far has focused on Goal area 1 - using content analysis methods to describe tobacco media types and messages, and I have limited training in developing tobacco messages and evaluating their impact (i.e., Goal areas 2 and 3), and limited experience in using research to support the development of policies or other interventions, a key skill for FDA's regulatory science framework. Under this K training award, my career development objectives will be to 1) increase my knowledge about communication and marketing theory;2) develop and strengthen my skills in marketing and communication research methods that may be applied towards developing and evaluating tobacco communications and 3) increase my knowledge about tobacco control regulatory science issues. This award will help me to achieve these objectives through course-work, trainings, mentored activities, and application in an innovative research project aimed at developing and testing potential future warning labels for electronic cigarettes, which are currently advertised without restrictions or warning labels. Given its authority to regulate tobacco product labeling, the Food &Drug Administration's new Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) will be in a position to authorize extending the use of warning labels to e-cigarettes. To assist the CTP in future policy making decisions on this topic, this project will use mixed methods to obtain input from smokers and tobacco control experts to begin developing and testing different potential future e-cigarette warning statements. Specifically, I will conduct a series of focus groups with current smokers and a survey with a purposive sample of tobacco control experts to obtain their feedback on warning statement concepts. I will then conduct an experiment to examine the impact of different e-cigarette warnings on smokers'e-cigarette risk perceptions and use intentions. Finally, I will use eye-tracking technology to collect pilot data about the potential impact that different e-cigarette warning statement size and placement might have. A series of secondary data analyses of datasets with e-cigarette content will also be conducted to inform the study's methods and instruments. My proposed mentors and collaborators have successfully conducted R01 funded work and have relevant expertise in the content areas and methods proposed in this research project, and in using their work to inform policy decision making. At the end of this training award, I will prepare my first R01 grant submission - a study to explore potential moderators of e-cigarette warnings, compare the impact of information from different sources and compare the impact of risk information about different non-combustible products.
This K award will provide training in tobacco regulatory science and in theory and research methods used in the fields of communication and marketing that can be applied towards the development and evaluation of tobacco communication messages. Training will include course-work, seminars, workshops, conference attendance, mentored activities, and application in an innovative research project aimed at developing and testing potential future warning labels for electronic cigarettes, a topic that is directly relevan to the Center for Tobacco Product's research priority areas.