Do Young Adults Attend to Health Warnings in the First IQOS Advertisement in the U.S.? An Eye-Tracking Approach.

Abstract: Introduction: In October 2019, a heated tobacco product (HTP) IQOS debuted in the United States. This study examined young adults’ attention and cognitions in response to an IQOS ad that carried two mandated textual health warnings (Surgeon General’s warning and nicotine warning), and how their vaping and smoking status may interact with attention patterns to affect attitude and intention to use IQOS.
Methods: In November 2019, college students (N=164) viewed IQOS’ first U.S. magazine ad and two distractor ads. Viewing patterns were recorded with eye-tracking. Masked recall and aided recognition, attitude and intention towards IQOS use were later assessed with self-report. OLS regressions and moderated mediation analyses examined the associations between visual attention and viewers’ cognitions about IQOS use.
Results: Promotional content attracted significantly more attention compared to the warnings. Attention to the Surgeon General’s warning but not to the nicotine warning was associated with recall and recognition of the warning’s content. For ever-vapers, greater attention allocation to the promotional content in the IQOS ad was associated with more favorable attitude toward IQOS use, which was in turn positively associated with intention to use IQOS. Attention allocation to the warnings did not affect attitude or intentions, regardless of tobacco use status.
Conclusions: The results revealed the effects of IQOS promotional content overshadowed the two health warnings in influencing young people’s attitude and intention to use IQOS. Young adults who vaped were more vulnerable to HTP advertising with respect to future use and vaping may be a gateway to HTP use.

The Role of Regret and Hope in Anti-smoking Loss-Framing-Based Narrative Persuasion.

Abstract: this study examines the effect of discrete emotional appeal (i.e., regret and hope) in loss-framing-based narrative by exploring its impact on people’s emotional engagement and attitude toward the smoking issue. Emotional engagement in this study is not only defined as affective response, but also related to emotional sharing process between self and characters therein, including empathy and sympathy. A controlled experiment involving 137 smoking participants recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) revealed main effect for hope appeal and regret on the emotional engagement, as well as the mediating effect of sympathy to the relationship between emotional appeal and attitude toward quitting smoking.