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Young Adults' Responses to Anti-smoking Messages

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified September 2013 by University of Pennsylvania.
Recruitment status was:  Not yet recruiting
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Pennsylvania Identifier:
First received: September 26, 2013
Last updated: September 30, 2013
Last verified: September 2013
The purpose of this study is to determine whether anti-smoking messages based on promising smoking-related beliefs increase anti-smoking intentions more than messages based on less-promising beliefs. Never smokers and former smokers will be randomly assigned to view different anti-smoking messages, and will answer questions measuring smoking-related beliefs, intentions, and message ratings online.

Condition Intervention
Behavioral: Smoking-Related Messages

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
Official Title: Young Adults' Anti-smoking Message Ratings and Ideas About Smoking Survey

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Pennsylvania:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Smoking Intentions [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    Respondents answer three items (to create a scale) about the likelihood of using various tobacco products over the next year.

  • Smoking-related beliefs [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
    Respondents will answer five smoking-related belief items (to create a scale) that are relevant to the messages they saw in addition to other smoking-related belief items. They will answer how likely/unlikely they think the beliefs are as a result of smoking (or not smoking).

Estimated Enrollment: 2200
Study Start Date: September 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: Control: No Smoking-Related Messages
Respondents will answer questions about smoking-related beliefs and intentions to smoke before receiving the treatment smoking-related messages (they will still receive them at the end to make the groups comparable and still expose them to anti-smoking messages).
Experimental: Promising Smoking-Related Messages
Respondents will receive one of the possible sets of promising smoking-related messages and these should affect smoking-related intentions to a greater extent (make respondents less likely to smoke) than less-promising smoking-related messages.
Behavioral: Smoking-Related Messages
Experimental: Less-Promising Smoking-Related Messages
Respondents will receive one of the possible sets of less-promising smoking-related messages and these should affect their intentions to a lesser extent than the promising smoking-related messages.
Behavioral: Smoking-Related Messages

Detailed Description:
The goal of the main study is to test the hypothesis that messages promoting promising smoking-related belief themes identified by the Hornik and Woolf (1999) method will increase anti-smoking intentions to a greater extent than less-promising belief themes. This hypothesis will be tested by exposing research participants to messages based on a range of belief themes and comparing their anti-smoking intentions across conditions. Using the method described by Hornik and Woolf (1999), promising and less-promising smoking-related beliefs are identified using cross-sectional survey data that examines the association between smoking-related beliefs and intentions. The research team has previously used this method to advise campaign developers as to which smoking-related beliefs they should target in anti-smoking campaigns, although our cross-sectional evidence was only suggestive because it could not tease apart the causal order of beliefs and intentions (i.e., do people with anti-smoking beliefs have intentions not to smoke, or do people who don't intend to smoke develop more anti-smoking beliefs). Because our evidence has been cross-sectional, it is currently unknown whether anti-smoking messages based on promising smoking-related beliefs are indeed more likely to increase intentions not to smoke. Therefore, there are two parts to the study that we will conduct experimentally. First, in the pilot study, we will pretest a larger set of themes than will be used in the main study to ensure that the themes we do use (whether promising or unpromising) are equally convincing. Otherwise, there may be a difference in intentions based on treatment group simply because the manipulation did not work in one group and did in another, not because holding promising beliefs is actually more effective at increasing intentions. Our claim is that if it were possible to convince people of both types of beliefs (promising and less-promising), they would be less likely to smoke in the promising case than in the less-promising case because those beliefs are more powerful at changing intentions. For the main study, we will therefore use a smaller set of themes and experimentally manipulate which respondents are exposed to promising smoking-related messages and which are exposed to less-promising smoking-related messages. We expect that the randomly assigned groups will endorse promising and less-promising smoking-related beliefs to different extents. This will allow us to test our hypothesis that promising beliefs are more effective at increasing anti-smoking intentions by examining differences in smoking-related intentions based on treatment group (exposure to either promising or less-promising messages).

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 25 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • U.S. participants 18-25 years of age who are part of the Survey Sampling International (SSI) panel
  • Never smoker (never puffed a cigarette) or former smoker (have at least puffed a cigarette but have not smoked in the past 30 days)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Less than 18 or greater than 25 years of age
  • For the main study, they must not have participated in the pilot study in which we will test the how convincing these messages are
  • For both studies, they must not have participated in a previous study in which we originally generated these theme sets
  • Current smokers (people who have smoked in the past 30 days)
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01954407

United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Robert Hornik, PhD University of Pennsylvania
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT01954407     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 818764 
Study First Received: September 26, 2013
Last Updated: September 30, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Pennsylvania:
smoking-related messages
anti-smoking messages
smoking-related beliefs
anti-smoking intentions processed this record on February 20, 2017