To vape or not to vape? Effects of exposure to conflicting news headlines on beliefs about harms and benefits of electronic cigarette use

Results from a randomized controlled experiment

Andy S.L. Tan, Chul joo Lee, Rebekah H Nagler, Cabral A. Bigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

News coverage of novel tobacco products including e-cigarettes has framed the use of these products with both positive and negative slants. Conflicting information may shape public knowledge, perceptions of e-cigarettes, and their harms. The objective of this study is to assess effects of exposure to conflicting news coverage on US adults' beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use. We conducted a one-way between-subjects randomized controlled experiment in 2016 to compare the effects of viewing either 1) positive, 2) negative, 3) both positive and negative (conflicting) news headlines about the safety of using e-cigarettes, or 4) no-message. Participants were 2056 adults aged 18 and older from an online survey panel. Outcomes were beliefs about harms (3-item scale, α = 0.76) and benefits (3-item scale, α = 0.82) of using e-cigarettes. Participants who viewed negative headlines reported increased beliefs about harms (B = 0.164, p = 0.039) and lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.216, p = 0.009), compared with those in the positive headlines condition. These differences were replicated in subgroup analyses among never e-cigarette users. In addition, never e-cigarette users who viewed conflicting headlines reported lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.221, p = 0.030) than the positive headlines condition. Valence of news coverage about e-cigarettes (positive, negative, or conflicting) could influence people's beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Fingerprint

Tobacco Products
Electronic Cigarettes
Vaping
pyrachlostrobin
Safety

Keywords

  • Beliefs
  • Conflicting information
  • Electronic cigarette
  • News coverage

Cite this

@article{54e5835721884bc0a2307800bca27c66,
title = "To vape or not to vape? Effects of exposure to conflicting news headlines on beliefs about harms and benefits of electronic cigarette use: Results from a randomized controlled experiment",
abstract = "News coverage of novel tobacco products including e-cigarettes has framed the use of these products with both positive and negative slants. Conflicting information may shape public knowledge, perceptions of e-cigarettes, and their harms. The objective of this study is to assess effects of exposure to conflicting news coverage on US adults' beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use. We conducted a one-way between-subjects randomized controlled experiment in 2016 to compare the effects of viewing either 1) positive, 2) negative, 3) both positive and negative (conflicting) news headlines about the safety of using e-cigarettes, or 4) no-message. Participants were 2056 adults aged 18 and older from an online survey panel. Outcomes were beliefs about harms (3-item scale, α = 0.76) and benefits (3-item scale, α = 0.82) of using e-cigarettes. Participants who viewed negative headlines reported increased beliefs about harms (B = 0.164, p = 0.039) and lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.216, p = 0.009), compared with those in the positive headlines condition. These differences were replicated in subgroup analyses among never e-cigarette users. In addition, never e-cigarette users who viewed conflicting headlines reported lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.221, p = 0.030) than the positive headlines condition. Valence of news coverage about e-cigarettes (positive, negative, or conflicting) could influence people's beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use.",
keywords = "Beliefs, Conflicting information, Electronic cigarette, News coverage",
author = "Tan, {Andy S.L.} and Lee, {Chul joo} and Nagler, {Rebekah H} and Bigman, {Cabral A.}",
year = "2017",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.08.024",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "105",
pages = "97--103",
journal = "Preventive Medicine",
issn = "0091-7435",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - To vape or not to vape? Effects of exposure to conflicting news headlines on beliefs about harms and benefits of electronic cigarette use

T2 - Results from a randomized controlled experiment

AU - Tan, Andy S.L.

AU - Lee, Chul joo

AU - Nagler, Rebekah H

AU - Bigman, Cabral A.

PY - 2017/12/1

Y1 - 2017/12/1

N2 - News coverage of novel tobacco products including e-cigarettes has framed the use of these products with both positive and negative slants. Conflicting information may shape public knowledge, perceptions of e-cigarettes, and their harms. The objective of this study is to assess effects of exposure to conflicting news coverage on US adults' beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use. We conducted a one-way between-subjects randomized controlled experiment in 2016 to compare the effects of viewing either 1) positive, 2) negative, 3) both positive and negative (conflicting) news headlines about the safety of using e-cigarettes, or 4) no-message. Participants were 2056 adults aged 18 and older from an online survey panel. Outcomes were beliefs about harms (3-item scale, α = 0.76) and benefits (3-item scale, α = 0.82) of using e-cigarettes. Participants who viewed negative headlines reported increased beliefs about harms (B = 0.164, p = 0.039) and lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.216, p = 0.009), compared with those in the positive headlines condition. These differences were replicated in subgroup analyses among never e-cigarette users. In addition, never e-cigarette users who viewed conflicting headlines reported lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.221, p = 0.030) than the positive headlines condition. Valence of news coverage about e-cigarettes (positive, negative, or conflicting) could influence people's beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use.

AB - News coverage of novel tobacco products including e-cigarettes has framed the use of these products with both positive and negative slants. Conflicting information may shape public knowledge, perceptions of e-cigarettes, and their harms. The objective of this study is to assess effects of exposure to conflicting news coverage on US adults' beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use. We conducted a one-way between-subjects randomized controlled experiment in 2016 to compare the effects of viewing either 1) positive, 2) negative, 3) both positive and negative (conflicting) news headlines about the safety of using e-cigarettes, or 4) no-message. Participants were 2056 adults aged 18 and older from an online survey panel. Outcomes were beliefs about harms (3-item scale, α = 0.76) and benefits (3-item scale, α = 0.82) of using e-cigarettes. Participants who viewed negative headlines reported increased beliefs about harms (B = 0.164, p = 0.039) and lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.216, p = 0.009), compared with those in the positive headlines condition. These differences were replicated in subgroup analyses among never e-cigarette users. In addition, never e-cigarette users who viewed conflicting headlines reported lower beliefs about benefits of e-cigarette use (B = − 0.221, p = 0.030) than the positive headlines condition. Valence of news coverage about e-cigarettes (positive, negative, or conflicting) could influence people's beliefs about harms and benefits of e-cigarette use.

KW - Beliefs

KW - Conflicting information

KW - Electronic cigarette

KW - News coverage

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029171963&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85029171963&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.08.024

DO - 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.08.024

M3 - Article

VL - 105

SP - 97

EP - 103

JO - Preventive Medicine

JF - Preventive Medicine

SN - 0091-7435

ER -