TCORS Project 3 - Effects of Implicit Messaging by Cigarette Packaging Coloring on Smoking Behaviors

Grant Number: 
Date Range: 
18 Sep 2013 to 31 Aug 2018
Principal Investigators: 
Research Area: 

This project provides a detailed analysis of the effects of a particular form of implicit misinformation on tobacco use behavior, the use of color packaging by the tobacco industry to convey implicit messages about cigarettes that were previously labeled as “light.” Specifically, this project will: (1) examine the effects of changes in cigarette package color (vs. plain packaging) on tobacco product use (smoking rate and topography); (2) determine whether graphic versus text warning labels moderate the impact of changes in package coloring on product use; and (3) identify specific attitudes and beliefs that mediate effects of color packaging and warning labels on tobacco use behaviors. This project directly addresses the FDA’s research priorities to understand: (1) how do factors related to packaging and labeling (e.g., colors…) influence perceptions and tobacco use; and (2) what is the impact of various factors on warning effectiveness. The findings generated from this project will provide an evidence base for the FDA to regulate cigarette packaging color and warning labels, by showing effects of such changes on smokers risk perceptions and product usage. Further, analyses relating beliefs altered by packaging features to smokers’ use of these products will identify beliefs that can be effectively targeted in counter-messaging of misleading information about tobacco product safety.