Online Program

From science to policy: The experimental study used to evaluate proposed corrective statements in US vs. Philip Morris USA, Inc.

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Kelly Blake, ScD, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Behavioral Research Program, Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Michele Bloch, MD, PhD, NCI, Rockville, MD
Erik Augustson, PhD, MPH, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
BACKGROUND: In 2006, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ordered all parties in US vs. a Tobacco Company to propose text for corrective statements on five topics about which the defendant tobacco companies had engaged in deliberate fraud and deception. The statements will be disseminated in newspapers and through television, pack onserts, corporate websites, and possibly point-of-sale. The Court issued the final text for the statements November 27, 2012. METHODS: We conducted an experimental study to evaluate potential corrective statements in both English and Spanish with a nationally representative sample of adults and teens on cognitive outcomes such as knowledge, beliefs, confusion, trust, and future beliefs; attributes such as attention and clarity; and smoking urges and behavioral intentions in current and former smokers. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to model the predicted probability that exposure to statements was associated with outcomes of interest. Tests for effect modification explored whether statements may produce differential effects based on smoking status, income, age, and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Across nearly all topic areas, statements proposed by public-health Intervenors and NCI outperformed industry-proposed statements, both compared to control condition and ranked against all statements under study. Tests of effect modification revealed no broad patterns of differential effects by smoking status, income, age, or race/ethnicity. CONCLUSION: Corrective statements represent an important opportunity for the public better to appreciate the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, and to be less likely to be misled by future tobacco industry deceptions and misstatements.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the experimental study that was undertaken by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), at the request of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), to test the proposed corrective statements that were put forward by multiple parties involved in the US vs. a tobacco company case. Explain the results of the experimental study, including how and which recommended corrective statements were put forward for the court's consideration during the trial.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Litigation, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the lead researcher on several tobacco control studies, including studies to assess media effects on attitudes toward tobacco control policy. I served as the Department of Justice's expert witness in US vs. Philip Morris USA, Inc. for which I was the principal investigator on the experimental study undertaken to test the proposed corrective statements put forward in the case.
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.