Australian university student perceptions of health messages on cigarette sticks

Drovandi, Aaron, Teague, Peta-Ann, Glass, Beverley, and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi (2020) Australian university student perceptions of health messages on cigarette sticks. Health Communication, 35 (4). pp. 456-464.

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University students are exposed to casual smoking, increasing their risk of developing nicotine addiction, which can extend into adulthood. A novel anti-tobacco intervention being investigated is the use of health warnings on individual cigarette sticks. We explored the perceptions of university students on the effectiveness of health warnings on cigarette packaging and individual cigarette sticks. An online survey was distributed to first-year university students enrolled at a regional university in North-Eastern Australia. Participants rated on 5-point Likert scales and commented using open-text comment boxes, the effectiveness of current cigarette packaging warnings, and 12 text warnings (divided into four themes; immediate and short-term consequences [ISC], long-term and mortality consequences [LMC], social and financial consequences [SFC], and supportive messages to quit [SMQ]) on individual cigarette sticks, in preventing non-smokers from smoking, and in encouraging current smokers to quit. Participants (n = 479; Mean age = 22 years) rated three themes (ISC, LMC, and SFC) as being overall more effective (all p < .001) than current packaging warnings (Odds Ratios = 5.93 [4.51–7.80], 3.60 [2.79–4.64], and 2.86 [2.21–3.69] respectively). Participants described a desensitisation to current packaging warnings, and the novel warnings displayed potentially overcoming this issue, with over 85% agreeing that individual cigarette sticks should include health warnings. Health warnings on cigarette sticks may serve as an effective means in reducing tobacco use, with the provision of this additional intervention for communicating the health and other negative consequences of smoking likely reinforcing the effects of current packaging warnings.

Item ID: 56970
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-7027
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Funders: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2019 03:51
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 50%
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