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Recency Versus Repetition Priming Effects of Cigarette Warnings on Nonsmoking Teenagers: The Moderating Effects of Cigarette-Brand Familiarity


Jean-Charles Chebat, ECSC Chair of Marketing, HEC-Montreal School of Management, 3000, Côte-Sainte-Catherine Local 4.348, Montréal (Québec), Canada, H3T 2A7. E-mail:


This study focuses on the interactive effects of antismoking warnings and cigarette-brand familiarity on teenagers' smoking intent, attitudes toward the website, and sponsoring brand when exposed to entertainment websites sponsored by cigarette brands. Findings from a 3 (Warning Type) × 2 (Level of Cigarette-Brand Familiarity) factorial design experiment with nonsmoking teenagers demonstrated that text and picture warnings significantly reduced attitudes toward cigarette brands, compared to text-only or no warning. Warnings had assimilation effects on attitudes (toward brand and website) and on smoking intent in the case of familiar brands; and marginally significant contrast effects in the case of unfamiliar brands, which better reflects the repetition priming paradigm than the recency priming paradigm, and calls for attention to cigarette brands' familiarity.