Tobacco dangers still surprise many smokers

Monday, 19 May 2014 - 2:00pm IST | Agency: ANI

Researchers have found that many smokers still find accurate and detailed facts about the dangers of tobacco both new and motivating in terms of their desire to quit.

One of the study's authors James Thrasher, associate professor at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, said the tobacco industry systematically deceived the public for decades, denying that smoking was dangerous or addictive.

Thrasher added that smokers indicate that receiving factual, corrective information about the dangers of smoking motivates them to quit; also that members of groups that are highly targeted by the tobacco industry were especially responsive to the corrective statements.

These groups include women, African Americans, Latinos and lower-income people. "This study suggests that the longer we wait to give smokers this information about the tobacco industry's lies, the more smokers will continue to consume tobacco" noted Thrasher.

1,404 smokers ranging in age from18 to 64 years old and of diverse ethnic, gender and income groups were presented with the corrective statements. Between one half and one third of the study participants stated that some information in the corrective statements was novel to them.

Those who experienced novelty were likelier to express anger at the industry, to find the message(s) relevant and to feel motivated to quit by the message(s). Novelty ratings ran consistently higher among African Americans and Latinos than among non-Hispanic whites.


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