Use of cigarettes and noncigarette tobacco products (NCTPs) among adolescents and young adults remains high. Strategies to communicate the risks of cigarettes and NCTPs are needed. Online tobacco education is one such strategy; however, there is little guidance for message development. We conducted four focus groups (n = 39) with adolescent and young adult to identify message and delivery preferences for online tobacco education. Participants evaluated three existing tobacco education websites. Transcripts were coded for preferred tobacco education message content, delivery, and willingness to use online tobacco education. Participants preferred novel, concise facts, embedded links to credible sources, and an anti-industry tone for website messages. Participants expressed an aversion to message strategies that relied on scare tactics or attempted to simulate youth media trends (e.g., overuse of hashtags). To increase exposure, participants recommended using social media to drive engagement. Results serve as guidelines for what information adolescents and young adults desire, as well as how they want this information communicated with online tobacco education. Our findings - youth prefer new, fact-based information that is conveyed concisely, with sources, without authoritative tones, and delivered via social media - provides guidance for how to develop online tobacco education for this at-risk population.
Message and delivery preferences for online tobacco education among adolescents and young adults
Lazard, A. J., Horrell, L., Pikowski, J., Cornacchione Ross, J., Noar, S. M., & Sutfin, E. L. (2018). Message and delivery preferences for online tobacco education among adolescents and young adults. Journal of Health Communication, 23(8), 735-742. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2018.1523259