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Broadcast reach and self-reported exposure to court-ordered corrective statements on cigarette harms.


In August 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ordered four tobacco companies to disseminate court-approved corrective statements on five topics pertaining to health hazards of cigarette smoking. Based on the 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), approximately 50% of U.S. smokers viewed at least one corrective statement via television or newspaper during the first six months of the airings/publications (November 2017-April 2018). Using televised gross rating points (GRPs) and cross-sectional data from the 2018 HINTS (n = 3484) and 2019 HINTS (n = 3331), the current study extends previous ones by estimating broadcast reach/frequency and the moderating effect of survey year on smokers' exposure to a corrective statement. The weighted percentage of participants who viewed a corrective statement was significantly greater in the 2019 versus 2018 HINTS for smokers (64.3% vs. 50.5%, χ2 1df = 5.85, p = .01), but not for non-smokers (39% in 2018/2019, χ2 1df = 0.02; p = .88); this differential effect was evidenced by a significant interaction term (OR = 2.0(1.2, 3.2), p < .001). This study also revealed that the televised reach of the corrective statements to the U.S. population (43.5 GRPs/43.5%) was comparable to the published estimate from the 2018 HINTS (40.6%). The frequency of exposure to any corrective statement in the first six months of televised airings was only 0.68 exposures/month, an estimate that does not meet CDC Best Practices. Yet, as evidenced by the significant interaction with survey year, it is likely that the addition of messages to tobacco company websites and cigarette package onserts may have contributed to smokers' greater exposure to a corrective statement.

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