Findings from previous studies on smoking cues and argument strength in antismoking messages have shown that the presence of smoking cues undermines the persuasiveness of antismoking public service announcements (PSAs) with weak arguments. This study conceptualized smoking cues (i.e., scenes showing smoking-related objects and behaviors) as stimuli motivationally relevant to the former smoker population and examined how smoking cues influence former smokers’ processing of antismoking PSAs. Specifically, by defining smoking cues and the strength of antismoking arguments in terms of resource allocation, this study examined former smokers’ recognition accuracy, memory strength, and memory judgment of visual (i.e., scenes excluding smoking cues) and audio information from antismoking PSAs. In line with previous findings, the results of the study showed that the presence of smoking cues undermined former smokers’ encoding of antismoking arguments, which includes the visual and audio information that compose the main content of antismoking messages.
Published in Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 154–176