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Addict Behav. 2018 Feb;77:7-15. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 9.

Monitoring harm perceptions of smokeless tobacco products among U.S. adults: Health Information National Trends Survey 2012, 2014, 2015.

Author information

1
Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, United States. Electronic address: shari.feirman@fda.hhs.gov.
2
Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, United States.
3
Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, United States.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Changes to the U.S. smokeless tobacco landscape in recent years include a change to health warnings on packages, the implementation of bans in some stadiums, and the launch of a federal youth prevention campaign. It is unclear whether such changes have impacted consumer beliefs about smokeless tobacco. This study examines relative harm perceptions of smokeless tobacco compared to cigarettes among adults and assesses changes in smokeless tobacco harm perceptions over time.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from three cycles (2012, 2014, 2015) of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Using 2015 data, we assessed bivariate associations between smokeless tobacco harm perceptions and tobacco use, beliefs, information seeking, and demographics. Using 2012, 2014, and 2015 data, we assessed whether smokeless tobacco harm perceptions changed over time within demographic groups using chi-square tests. We then used a weighted multinomial logistic regression to assess the association between smokeless tobacco perceptions and survey year, adjusting for covariates.

RESULTS:

When asked whether smokeless tobacco products are less harmful than cigarettes, the majority of respondents across cycles said "no." The percent of respondents who selected this response option decreased over time. Findings showed significant differences in relative harm perceptions of smokeless tobacco versus cigarettes for specific demographic subgroups. Among subgroups, these shifts did not occur with a discernible pattern.

CONCLUSIONS:

Understanding factors associated with perceptions of smokeless tobacco can inform tobacco control efforts. Additional monitoring of these trends may provide researchers with a deeper understanding of how and why smokeless tobacco harm perceptions change.

KEYWORDS:

Harm perceptions; Population surveillance; Smokeless tobacco; Tobacco; United States

PMID:
28938110
PMCID:
PMC5701817
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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