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Legacy Program Summary

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IMPORTANT LEGACY NOTICE: Legacy Programs have not been reviewed by the current National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). The programs in this database were reviewed only under the previous National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs system. This section is intended to be used for historical reference only. If you would like more information about a program listed here, please contact the program developer directly. The program developer of each Legacy Program listed here agreed to post program information on this site.

Message Framing

Brief Program Description

Message Framing refers to persuasive health communication that emphasizes either the benefits of adopting or the costs of not adopting desirable health behaviors. The hypothesis guiding the development of messages to promote smoking cessation is that it would be better promoted with messages emphasizing the benefits of not smoking (gain-frames), rather than the costs of continued smoking (loss-frames).

Most anti-smoking messages focus on the costs or risks of tobacco use. However, Message Framing research, conducted with college-aged smokers and adult smokers attending smoking cessation clinics, suggests that videotaped messages promoting the benefits of smoking cessation, rather than the risks of continued smoking, may be especially effective.

The Message Framing intervention includes videotaped programs about smoking cessation that are either gain- or loss-framed, as well as supplemental print materials with congruent gain- or loss-framed messages. Overall, gain-framed messages shaped smoking-related beliefs and attitudes in healthy ways, compared to loss-framed messages. Gain-framed messages were better accepted than loss-framed messages immediately and at 6 weeks posttest. In smokers, 6-week post-assessment revealed that any type of gainframe, whether visual or auditory, decreased temptations to smoke and reduced actual smoking behavior. Program participants included African American, Hispanic/Latino, and White young adults.

Program Development Support

The National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Mental Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Cancer Society, and the Donaghue Women's Health Investigator Program have supported the work of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory at Yale University.

Contact Information

For indepth information on this program, please use the contact listed below.

Program Developer

Peter Salovey, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Yale University
P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
Phone: (203) 432-4546
Fax: (203) 432-8430

In December 2002, this program was designated as an Effective Program under SAMHSA's previous National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs system.