Date of Award

11-26-2008

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Eriksen - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Francis McCarty

Third Advisor

Melissa Taylor

Abstract

In 1999, the Federal Government sued the tobacco companies in an attempt to recover expenses used to treat diseases caused by smoking. The 2006 verdict required the dissemination of corrective statements intended to inform the public of the dangers of smoking. This study analyzes smokers' perceptions of these statements. Statements were tested from November 5 to December 5, 2007. Results indicate: (1) messages created by public health intervenors and tobacco companies tended to have higher mean scores than those created by the DOJ, (2) statements on nicotine being addictive had significantly higher mean scores than the other two sets tested, (3) that all statements were rated higher in terms of believability than in terms of other factors, and (4) light smokers rated statements higher in terms of motivating and likelihood to quit than did medium or heavy smokers. These results will be used to refine the development of corrective statements.

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