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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

NYU: Marketing Influences on Perceptions of Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes

A study co-authored by Dr. Raymond Niaura, interim chair of the Department of Epidemiology and professor of social and behavioral sciences at New York University College of Global Public Health, was published by Nicotine and Tobacco Research titled “Marketing Influences on Perceptions of Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) announced intent to reduce the nicotine content in cigarettes. However, there is limited evidence on how reduced nicotine content cigarette (RNC) marketing affects product beliefs and use, and research on this is needed to inform regulations. This study aims to examine the effect of visual characteristics communicating implicit risks (eg, package color) and explicit corrective messaging in RNC marketing among young adult smokers. 

Findings indicate that brief exposure to an RNC advertisement with red packaging and corrective messaging were each independently associated with greater advertisement content recall. The results indicate: (1) interest and confusion among young adult smokers regarding RNCs, (2) beliefs about RNCs are influenced by marketing, and (3) beliefs are associated with intention to use RNCs. These results demonstrate the importance of advertising effects on beliefs about RNC products and support the need to regulate advertising and labeling alongside product regulation. A more detailed study of advertisement features that affect consumers’ beliefs about RNCs and how they impact their processing of explicit messaging about product risks will be important to guide regulatory decision-making.

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