U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Tobacco Products
  3. Tobacco Science & Research
  4. Research
  5. UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Project 4: Examining Product Descriptors in Natural American Spirit Cigarette Marketing
  1. Research

UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Project 4: Examining Product Descriptors in Natural American Spirit Cigarette Marketing

Principal Investigator(s): Jane Lewis

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant

ID number: 1 U54 CA229973-01

Award Date: 9/14/18

Institution: Rutgers University

Extensive research has confirmed that cigarettes marketed as “light,” “low tar,” and “mild” were misperceived as having lower risks. In recognition of this, the 2009 Tobacco Control Act (TCA) banned the use of these descriptors in one of its earliest regulatory actions but did not address other misleading terms that studies have shown also suggest reduced harm for products utilizing them. One of these products is Natural American Spirit, a heavily-advertised and top-selling premium cigarette brand popular among young adults that promoted itself using the terms “additive free,” “natural,” and “organic.” The goal of this project is to provide additional scientific evidence on product descriptors that may imply a health claim, such as the terms “natural,” “additive-free,” and “organic.” Study aims are: (1) to understand consumer perceptions of brand name, descriptors (e.g., “organic”, “Tobacco Ingredients: Tobacco and Water”), and imagery  advertising by conducting 12 focus groups each with 6-8 young adult (ages 18-24) smokers and nonsmokers; (2) to assess the effect of potentially misleading descriptors in print advertising on cigarette risk perceptions and use intentions among 2400 young adult (ages 18-24) smokers and non-smokers using a between-subjects online experiment; and (3) to examine population differences in tobacco perceptions, use intentions, and use between products that may imply a modified risk or health claim and other brand smokers, comparing them over time through analysis of Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study data. A secondary aim will be to monitor claims and images used in cigarette advertising with a longitudinal content analysis of print and direct mail advertising. Findings will advance the evidence base on the impact of misleading terms implying reduced risk.

UPenn/Rutgers TCORS Examining the Effects of Advertising, Packaging and Labeling Related Resources

Back to Top