Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Aesthetics and Functionality Preferences for Online Tobacco Education


As cigarette use rates decline among adolescents and young adults, public health officials face new challenges with high use of non-cigarette tobacco products (NCTPs). Online tobacco education is a potential solution to discourage use, yet limited information is available for how online media should look and function. This study aims to fill this gap by conducting focus group interviews to identify adolescents and young adults’ aesthetic and functionality preferences for online tobacco education (phase 1) followed by interviews to assess a NCTP education website developed (phase 2). We found preferences for use of font and colors to highlight tobacco information in organized designs. Interactive features (quizzes) motivated engagement, and participants desired responsive designs that function similarly across devices. Public health researchers and educators should apply aesthetic and functionality preferences to reduce NCTP use and help create a tobacco-free future for youth.

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Research reported in this publication was supported by P50CA180907 from the National Cancer Institute and FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the Food and Drug Administration.

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Correspondence to Allison J. Lazard.

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This study was approved by [the University of North Carolina] IRB.

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Lazard, A.J., Pikowski, J., Horrell, L. et al. Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Aesthetics and Functionality Preferences for Online Tobacco Education. J Canc Educ 35, 373–379 (2020).

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  • eHealth
  • Tobacco prevention and control
  • Health communication
  • Health promotion
  • User experience