Tobacco companies are rapidly transitioning from combusted products to novel nicotine delivery systems (e.g., e-cigarettes, snus, and dissolvables) and alternative tobacco products (e.g., cigarillos, littlie cigars, and hookah). While most would agree that the movement away from combusted tobacco products to novel nicotine delivery systems is likely to be positive, the actual risk of these products is uncertain, as is whether these products will be used in conjunction with other tobacco products or possibly deter quitting behavior. To address the need for more information on individual practices and perceptions of new and emerging tobacco products, the specific aims of this project are to (1) conduct survey and focus group research on current tobacco product practices and risk perceptions;and, (2) develop and test theoretically-based media messages to inform the development of FDA strategic communication efforts. Specifically, we propose to undertake a regular, scientific and theoretically-based assessment of practices and perceptions of new and emerging tobacco products among a nationally-representative sample of adults. This assessment will complement but differ from, the planned PATH study in two important ways. In addition to questions similar to those asked by the PATH survey on the usage of tobacco products, our survey will collect in-depth information on media usage and health information-seeking behavior, as well as thoroughly examine perceptions of risk for these new products using the science of risk perception, as developed by Paul Slovic, a Co-investigator on this project. The findings from the quantitative survey research will be tested and further explored through qualitative focus groups and in-depth interviews, resulting in clear messages targeted for specific populations and provided through media channels proven to reach these populations, with the ultimate goal of improving the accuracy and quality of risk perceptions for these new and emerging tobacco products. Media messages will be developed, tested and the results provided to FDA to inform their strategic and persuasive communications efforts.

Public Health Relevance

Tobacco companies are transitioning from combusted products to novel nicotine delivery systems (e.g., e- cigarettes, snus, and dissolvables) and alternative tobacco products (e.g., little cigars). This project will provide new information about risk perceptions, attitudes and normative beliefs that will directly address FDA's research priority questions that focus on understanding the diversity of tobacco products and communications about these products

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Georgia State University
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