Objectives: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority for modified risk tobacco product advertising claims. To guide future regulatory efforts, we investigated how variations in modified risk claim advertisements influence consumer perceptions of product risk claims for Camel Snus. Methods: Young people and adults (15–65), including current, never, and former smokers, were randomised to view one of five Camel Snus print advertisements as part of a web-based survey. Four of the advertisements presented information related to nitrosamine content of snus using four formats: (1) text, (2) a bar chart, (3) a text/testimonial and (4) a bar chart/testimonial. The fifth format, used as a control, was a current advertisement for Camel Snus without the explicit claims made about nitrosamine content. After viewing advertisements for all products, participants were asked which product they would be most interested in trying. Results: Participants exposed to advertisements that contained an explicit reduced risk message agreed the advertising claim for that product posed fewer health risks than cigarettes. However, advertisements containing the reduced risk messages were also viewed as containing less truthful information and respondents were more sceptical of the information presented. Advertisement claim format was not associated with selecting snus over the other tobacco products, nor was it associated with purchase intentions. Conclusion: The results of this research indicate that consumers respond to reduced risk messages, though perhaps not in the direct way anticipated. We found no significant differences by advertisement format (numerical, graphical, testimonial).
- consumer behaviour
- modified risk