Is Interactive, Tailored Content Eye-Catching Enough to Educate about Harmful Cigarette Ingredients?

Thanks to the FDA, for the first time ever, Americans will know exactly which harmful ingredients tobacco companies pack into cigarettes. Currently, Ohio State’s Center of Excellence in Tobacco Regulatory Science (CERTS) has new funding to test methods of making that complicated list of chemicals easier to understand.

The FDA has identified 93 harmful or potentially harmful ingredients that can come from in cigarettes and secondhand smoke. However, many of those ingredients have long, complicated, scientific names unfamiliar to most consumers. This supplement award is for a project called “Tailoring and interactivity website features and their impacts on smoker’s knowledge.” To test this concept, an interdisciplinary team of researchers will work to test if websites with interactive and tailored features will help consumers better understand the list of harmful ingredients. In addition to providing easy-to-understand content for the website, researchers will also use eye-tracking technology to determine which information and aspects that consumers pay attention to.

The research team aims to contribute to better understanding of the best practices for communicating health information online. The ultimate goal is for improved consumer comprehension and the ability to make more well-informed health decisions.

The research project began in September and will run for 12 months. To perform the research for this project, the team includes research expertise in tobacco control, epidemiology, health communications, biomedical informatics and biostatistics.

Faculty members involved include:
Elizabeth Klein, PhD, MPH:  Associate Professor in the Division of Health Behavior & Health Promotion at the OSU College of Public Health (OSU-CPH)
Michael Slater, PhD: Professor in the School of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences at OSU
Randi Foraker, PhD: Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology at the OSU-CPH
Abigail Shoben, PhD: Assistant Professor in the Division of Biostatistics at the OSU-CPH.
Albert Lai, PhD: Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the OSU College of Medicine 


About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College’s divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 19th among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 10-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES), Center for Public Health Practice, and the NCI-funded Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (CERTS).