Older Adult Risk Perceptions of Conventional and Emerging Tobacco Products

Research Fields: 
Marketing and Prevention

The absolute negative health burden from smoking is greatest for adults over age 50. Older adults are growing in number and are the least likely to quit of any age group, because they underestimate both the risks for smoking and the benefits of cessation. While quitting smoking by age 50 halves the risk of lung cancer, and almost immediately decreases cardiovascular risk, older adults are often unaware of these benefits. Currently, there is an increase in tobacco industry advertising to encourage cigarette smokers to use smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes in no-smoking areas and as an aid to decrease smoking. While these messages are likely to appeal strongly to older smokers and Despite the importance of risk and benefit perceptions in the decision to use tobacco products, most research about perceptions of tobacco use has focused on adolescents and young adults. The goal for this study is to examine over time, the intention and use patterns (initiation, use, switching, dual-use, and relapse) of flavored and unflavored cigarettes, cigars, ATPs and emerging tobacco products and how these perceptions impact intentions, use, and cessation patterns (including relapse).