— September 2019

Kristen Holtz, KDHRC founder and president, co-authored a manuscript recently published in the British Medical Journal outlining results from qualitative research conducted by the Food and Drug Administration with evaluation assistance from KDHRC to test their ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) campaign messaging.

The FDA uses large-scale tobacco prevention campaigns as a proven strategy to prevent tobacco use among teens. The ENDS campaign takes the same approach with a focus on e-cigarette prevention. To determine which health messaging would be most effective in large-scale e-cigarette prevention, the FDA and KDHRC conducted twenty-four focus groups across the U.S. with 159 teens ages twelve to seventeen. During the focus groups, youth gave feedback on messaging themes that discussed (1) the addictive properties of e-cigarettes, (2) how e-cigarette juice flavors mislead users to believing there is little harm involved in vaping, (3) the fact that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start using cigarettes, and (4) specific facts about harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes. The results revealed that messages that amplified the problem of addiction did not resonate with focus group participants. Messages that contained health consequences of vaping in a matter-of-fact style resonated most with teens. This study confirmed that there is a lack of information given to youth about vaping. Focus group participants appreciated clear facts that help teens make wiser choices when deciding on whether or not to use vapes.

Read the full manuscript HERE.