Title

Preference for gain- or loss-framed electronic cigarette prevention messages

Abstract

Background: Effective electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) prevention messages are needed to combat the rising popularity/uptake of e-cigarettes among youth. We examined preferences for e-cigarette prevention messages that either emphasized gains (e.g., You save money by not using e-cigarettes) or losses (e.g., You spend money by using e-cigarettes) among adolescents and young adults. Methods: Using surveys in two middle schools, four high schools, and one college in CT (N = 5405), we assessed students' preferences for gain- or loss-framed e-cigarette prevention messages related to four themes: financial cost, health risks, addiction potential, and social labeling as a smoker. We also assessed whether preferences for each message framing theme differed by sex, school level, cigarette-use status, and e-cigarette use-status. We also examined whether preference for message framing differed by cigarette and e-cigarette susceptibility status among never e-cigarette users. Results: Overall, loss-framing was preferred for message themes related to health risks, addiction potential, and social labeling as a smoker, whereas gain-framing was preferred for message themes related to financial cost. Logistic regression analyses showed that 1) females preferred loss-framed messages for all themes relative to males, 2) lifetime e-cigarette users preferred loss-framed health risks and social labeling messages relative to never users, and 3) high school students preferred gain-framed social labeling messages relative to college students. The preference for message framing did not differ by cigarette or e-cigarette susceptibility. Conclusions: Preference for message framing differed by themes and individual characteristics. This formative research could inform the construction of persuasive e-cigarette prevention messages. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

11-1-2016

Publication Title

Addictive Behaviors

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.06.015

Keywords

Message framing, Electronic cigarettes

Language

English

Format

text

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