Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Tob Control. 2014 Jul;23 Suppl 3:iii31-6. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051718.

Effects of advertisements on smokers' interest in trying e-cigarettes: the roles of product comparison and visual cues.

Author information

1
Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
2
Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
3
Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA RTI International, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered nicotine delivery devices that have become popular among smokers. We conducted an experiment to understand adult smokers' responses to e-cigarette advertisements and investigate the impact of ads' arguments and imagery.

METHODS:

A U.S. national sample of smokers who had never tried e-cigarettes (n=3253) participated in a between-subjects experiment. Smokers viewed an online advertisement promoting e-cigarettes using one of three comparison types (emphasising similarity to regular cigarettes, differences or neither) with one of three images, for nine conditions total. Smokers then indicated their interest in trying e-cigarettes.

RESULTS:

Ads that emphasised differences between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes elicited more interest than ads without comparisons (p<0.01), primarily due to claims about e-cigarettes' lower cost, greater healthfulness and utility for smoking cessation. However, ads that emphasised the similarities of the products did not differ from ads without comparisons. Ads showing a person using an e-cigarette created more interest than ads showing a person without an e-cigarette (p<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Interest in trying e-cigarettes was highest after viewing ads with messages about differences between regular and electronic cigarettes and ads showing product use. If e-cigarettes prove to be harmful or ineffective cessation devices, regulators might restrict images of e-cigarette use in advertising, and public health messages should not emphasise differences between regular and electronic cigarettes. To inform additional regulations, future research should seek to identify what advertising messages and features appeal to youth.

KEYWORDS:

Advertising and Promotion; Electronic nicotine delivery devices; Non-cigarette tobacco products

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center