196478 Designing tobacco cessation products for the low-literate consumer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stephanie M. Weiss, ScM , Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
Stephanie Smith-Simone, PhD, MPH , Center for Outcomes Research, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Smoking prevalence continues to be disproportionately higher among less educated, lower income adults compared to the rest of the U.S. population. Research shows that these smokers want to quit and are no less likely to try to quit compared to other smokers. However, they are less likely to use evidence-based treatments and quit successfully. The Quitting and Reducing Tobacco Use Inventory of Products (QuiTIP) is a database compiled by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that catalogs products marketed and sold to consumers to reduce or quit use of tobacco products. QuiTIP includes all medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cessation as well as a sample of non-approved products such as homeopathic, herbal, nutritional, or dietary supplements commonly marketed as either cessation aids or alternative tobacco/nicotine products. This project assesses the reading levels of product packaging, labeling, and instructions using the Simple Measure of Gobbleygook and presents results of a content analysis of claims found on product packages. Findings show that the average grade reading level of instructions for both FDA-approved and non-approved cessation products were found to be above recommended reading levels for maximum comprehension. Claims were categorized into four areas: health, safety, efficacy, and other. Improving packaging and directions of evidence-based tobacco cessation products using consumer centered design principles along with making sure they are written at a 5th grade or below reading level may help less educated, low-income smokers take advantage and correctly use products that will greatly increase their chances of successful quitting.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate ways to improve evidence-based tobacco cessation packaging to improve comprehension and use among less educated consumers.

Keywords: Tobacco, Health Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Conducted this analysis as part of work done with RWJF and the Consumer Demand Roundtable.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.