College Students' Expectancies for Light Cigarettes and Potential Reduced Exposure Products

Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.
American journal of health behavior (Impact Factor: 1.31). 05/2007; 31(4):402-10. DOI: 10.5555/ajhb.2007.31.4.402
Source: PubMed


To determine positive and negative beliefs about light cigarettes and potential reduced exposure products (PREPs) among college student smokers and non-smokers.
A web-based survey conducted in October-November 2004 among 424 students rating 5 advertisements for cigarette brands (Marlboro Red, Light, and Ultralight; Quest; Eclipse) on 28 items tapping positive and negative product expectancies.
Marlboro Light and Ultralight were rated more positively and less negatively than their Red counterpart. PREPs showed low positive and negative ratings relative to Marlboro Light. Positive expectancies were significantly related to willingness to try each brand.
Advertising plays a role in influencing how college students view light and PREP cigarette brands.

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    • "The percentage of smokers who smoke ultra-light cigarettes is significantly lower than those who smoke lights: 28% of adults over the age of 18 in one study (Kozlowski et al. 1998) and 15% of adult daily smokers in another study (Shiffman et al. 2001b). In one study of college students, only 1% of smokers smoked ultra-light cigarettes (Zank, Smith, and Stutts 2008); whereas, a second study had no smokers who smoked ultra-lights (O'Connor, et al. 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The authors perform an exploratory survey that examines the smoking behavior, perceptions, and quitting intentions of 579 college students, an important segment because of their large numbers, their education, and the fact that many of them begin smoking during college. Unlike findings from prior studies of adults, most college students in the sample did not perceive that light cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes or that ultralight cigarettes are safer than light cigarettes, but rather they perceived lights to provide sensory benefits (e.g., milder, lighter taste) over regular cigarettes. This was especially true for former and current smokers. The majority of smokers were nondaily smokers, many of whom have no thoughts of quitting. This is a concern because these nondaily smokers may not consider their smoking behavior risky. In addition, nondaily college student smokers who are primarily social smokers constitute a large group of young adults for which there is little research into the health risks from smoking.
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    • "O'Hegarty, Richter, and Pederson (2007) used focus groups to assess adult smokers' reactions to PREP print advertisements and promotional materials and found that these materials influenced participants' decisions to try PREPs. A study by O'Connor et al. (2007) found that advertising influences how college students view light and PREP cigarette brands. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The primary goal of this study was to investigate the factors influencing smokers' decisions to consume light cigarettes. The results can help public health authorities draft appropriate anti-smoking policies for light cigarettes. Methods: In this study we created a probit model using data on 3,939 smokers drawn from a survey compiled in 2000 by the Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health, Executive Yuan in Taiwan. Results: We found several important factors influencing smokers' decisions to consume light cigarettes, including age, gender, educational level, income level, percentage intending to quit smoking, and price. Most importantly, we found that smokers who are concerned about their health are most likely to consume light cigarettes. Conclusions: Our results indicate that most smokers are unaware of the serious health threats posed by light cigarettes. Therefore, we recommend that the ROC government develop education programs targeted toward the typical light cigarette smoker, especially women and those who want to stop smoking. We also recommend that the government increase the tax on light cigarettes and restrict the right of cigarette manufacturers to include such words as "light" or "low-tar" on the labels of their products.
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