Table 1

Key measures

MeasuresResponse optionsReliability (for scale)
Message reactions and perceived effectiveness
While looking at the message, I felt:
Negative emotions: sad, angry, afraid, guilty, disgusted, worried, ashamed, confused
Positive emotions: amused, hopeful, inspired, alert, interested, determined, happy
1 (not at all)–9 (extremely)Negative emotions α=0.93
Positive emotions α=0.89
  • This message is trying to manipulate me.

  • This message annoys me.

  • The health effects on this message are overblown.

1 (strongly disagree)–5 (strongly agree) α=0.83
Message novelty:
This message was…
1 (usual)–7 (unusual)
Perceived message effectiveness in arousing health concerns:
  • This message will make people more concerned about the health risk of smoking.

1 (not at all)–9 (extremely)
Perceived message effectiveness in motivating switching to e-cigarettes:
  • This message will motivate smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.

1 (not at all)–9 (extremely)
E-cigarette-related and cigarette-related beliefs
Imagine that you just began vaping e-cigarettes (smoking cigarettes) every day. What do you think your chances are of having each of the following happen to you if you continue to vape e-cigarettes (smoke cigarettes) every day?
Perceived risks:
  • Lung cancer

  • Lung disease other than lung cancer (such as COPD and emphysema)

  • Heart disease

  • Become addicted

  • Early/premature death

0 (no chance)–6 (very good chance)+I don’t know*E-cigarettes α=0.94,
Cigarettes α=0.91
Perceived benefits:
  • Look cool

  • Feel more relaxed

  • Have better concentration

  • Be more popular

E-cigarettes α=0.87,
Cigarettes α=0.79
Perceived comparative risk:
Is using electronic cigarettes (vapes) less harmful, about the same or more harmful than smoking regular cigarettes?
Three options+I don’t know†
Response efficacy:
  • Staying away from smoking is effective at preventing cancer.

  • If I do not smoke, I am less likely to get a serious disease.

  • How much do you think you would benefit from health and other gains if you were to quit smoking permanently in the next 6 months?

1 (not at all)–9 (extremely)Pretest α=0.80, Post-test α=0.81
  • It is easy for me to stay away from smoking.

  • How sure are you that, if you really wanted to, you could say no to a cigarette offer if a very close friend offers it?

  • If you decided to give up smoking completely in the next 6 months, how sure are you that you would succeed?

1 (not at all)–9 (extremely)‡Pretest α=0.83, Post-test α=0.86
Self-exempting beliefs:
  • Smoking cannot be all that bad for you because many people who smoke live long lives.

  • You can overcome the harms of smoking by doing things like eating healthy food and exercising regularly.

  • You have got to die of something, so why not enjoy yourself and smoke.

  • Everything causes cancer these days.

  • I have made an informed choice to smoke in full knowledge of the risks I am taking.

1 (strongly disagree)–7 (strongly agree) α=0.73
Support for tobacco control:
  • I want to be involved in efforts to get rid of cigarettes smoking.

  • I would like to see the cigarette companies go out of business.

  • Taking a stand against smoking is important to me.

1 (strongly disagree)–7 (strongly agree) α=0.91
Behavioural intentions
Intentions to smoke cigarettes: What is the chance that you will smoke a cigarette sometime over the next 6 months?1 (definitely will)–4 (definitely will not)§
Intentions to switch completely to e-cigarettes: How likely are you to switch completely from using regular cigarettes to electronic cigarettes in the next 6 months?1 (not at all)–9 (extremely)
Dual use intentions: Which of the following are you most likely to do in the next month? (Pick one)¶
  1. Only smoke cigarettes

  2. Mostly smoke cigarettes and occasionally use e-cigarettes

  3. Smoke cigarettes and use e-cigarettes about the same amount

  4. Occasionally smoke cigarettes and mostly use e-cigarettes

  5. Only use e-cigarettes

  6. Not smoke cigarettes and not use e-cigarettes

  7. Other: (please write your answer)

Pick one option
Intentions to quit:**
How much do you intend to quit in the next 6 months?
0 (very definitely no)–10 (very definitely yes)
Other intentions:**
  • How likely is it that in the next 6 months you will reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day?

  • How likely is it that in the next 6 months you will seek counselling/support to help you quit smoking?

  • How likely is it that in the next 6 months you will use nicotine gum, nicotine patch or other form of nicotine replacement therapy?

1 (definitely will not)–4 (definitely will)Analysed separately
Smoking identity:
  • Smoking is part of my self-image.

  • Smoking is part of ‘who I am’.

  • Smoking is a part of my personality.

  • Smoking is a large part of my daily life.

  • Others view smoking as part of my personality.

1 (strongly disagree)–10 (strongly agree) α=0.92
  • *The response category ‘I don’t know’ was treated as missing value in the data analysis.

  • †The response category ‘more harmful, same and I don’t know’ were grouped together and compared with the response category ‘less harmful’.

  • ‡The measurement scale for the second question was: 1 (not at all sure)–9 (completely sure).

  • §Reverse coded in data analysis.

  • ¶The response category 7 was treated as missing value. The response categories 2, 3 and 4 were grouped together (dual use) and compared with the response categories 5 (exclusive e-cigarette use) and 6 (cessation).

  • **Measured only among current smokers.

  • COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; e-cigarette, electronic cigarette.