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BMC Public Health. 2017 Jan 31;17(1):137. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4027-z.

Developing mobile phone text messages for tobacco risk communication among college students: a mixed methods study.

Author information

1
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1155 Pressler Str., Unit 1330, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
2
Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1155 Pressler Str., Unit 1330, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
3
Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1155 Pressler Str., Unit 1330, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. kscalabr@mdanderson.org.
4
Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 305 E. 23rd Street, Austin, TX, 78712, USA.
5
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA.
6
Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, D 3700, Austin, TX, 78712, USA.
7
Department of Periodontics, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 1 UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX, 78249, USA.
8
Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, 1616 Guadalupe St, Suite 6.300, Austin, TX, 78701, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Engaging young adults for the purpose of communicating health risks associated with nicotine and tobacco use can be challenging since they comprise a population heavily targeted with appealing marketing by the evolving tobacco industry. The Food and Drug Administration seeks novel ways to effectively communicate risks to warn about using these products. This paper describes the first step in developing a text messaging program delivered by smartphones that manipulate three messaging characteristics (i.e., depth, framing, and appeal).

METHODS:

Perceptions of community college students were described after previewing text messages designed to inform about risks of using conventional and new tobacco products. Thirty-one tobacco users and nonusers, aged 18-25 participated in five focus discussions held on two community college campuses. Attendees reviewed prototype messages and contributed feedback about text message structure and content. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed using NVivo Version 10.

RESULTS:

Most participants were female and two-thirds were ethnic minorities. A variety of conventional and new tobacco products in the past month were used by a third of participants. Three identified domains were derived from the qualitative data. These included perceived risks of using tobacco products, receptivity to message content, and logistical feedback regarding the future message campaign.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, participants found the messages to be interesting and appropriate. A gap in awareness of the risks of using new tobacco products was revealed. Feedback on the prototype messages was incorporated into message revisions. These findings provided preliminary confirmation that the forthcoming messaging program will be appealing to young adults.

KEYWORDS:

Nicotine and tobacco products; Qualitative; Text messages; Young adults

PMID:
28143432
PMCID:
PMC5282879
DOI:
10.1186/s12889-017-4027-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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