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UIC awarded $14 million to study tobacco pricing and media
Date:10/11/2011

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received $14.2 million from the National Cancer Institute to study how mass media and tax and pricing affects tobacco use and behavior.

The two five-year studies at UIC's Institute for Health Research and Policy build on previous tobacco research conducted by the institute to better understand what factors influence smoking behaviors.

In one study, senior research scientist Sherry Emery and colleagues will measure the extent to which people are exposed to, search for, and exchange both pro- and anti-tobacco information in mass media, how these activities are related to one another, and ultimately, how these actions are related to smoking behavior, beliefs and attitudes.

In evaluating pro- and anti-tobacco information the researchers will use existing data to assess passive exposure to television advertisements, banner ads that pop up on the internet, and sponsored text messaging; what people actively search for on the internet; and what people exchange via social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

"The hypothesis is that if you're exposed to, for example, an ad that says you should quit smoking your level of engagement with that information will be substantially lower than if you actively search the Internet for ways to quit smoking; in turn, engagement will be even greater if you share your experience with quitting via social media. These different levels of engagement may be associated in important ways to tobacco-related attitudes, beliefs and behavior," says Emery, principal investigator of the $7.2 million NCI-funded grant.

Emery's study will also collect new data from an online survey of 15,000 people in the country's top 75 media markets to obtain media market estimates of people's behavior and their consumption of pro- and anti-tobacco information from a variety of mass media, as well as smoking behavior information and demographics.

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Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzlez
smcginn@uic.edu
312-996-8277
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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