/ Modified sep 20, 2019 3:57 p.m.

How effective are anti-tobacco campaigns?

A discussion with UA professor Bo Yang, an expert in health communications.

To increase awareness about the dangers of vaping, health organizations are producing more public service announcements on the issue including Pima County and the Arizona Department of Health Services. Warning labels are also on vaping materials, similar to what appears on tobacco products. Arizona 360 got insight into the effectiveness of this type of messaging from Bo Yang, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona communication department who specializes in health communications.

“I do think people pay attention to those warning messages while they are at the same time exposed to messages probably promoting e-cigarettes,” Yang said.

While the dangers of vaping aren’t fully understood, organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published materials suggesting they’re less harmful than regular cigarettes. E-cigarette manufacturers have also incorporated a similar message in their marketing.

“For smokers, they are the people who are more likely to buy e-cigarette products because most of them tend to think these products are going to be less harmful than cigarettes,” Yang said.

A recent study Yang participated in found that graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging were more effective than text-only labels because they evoked stronger negative emotions in smokers.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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