How soon they forget: Changes to beliefs after learning about tobacco

Matthew G. Wisniewski, Anne Bartone, Janice L. Hastrup, Mariana V.C. Coutinho, Micah Geer, Leonard J. Simms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


University students beliefs about tobacco and nicotine were assessed before an educational intervention aimed at correcting tobacco-related misinformation. Beliefs were again measured immediately after the intervention, and then again after a 2-, 4-, 6-, or 8-week retention interval. Initially, participants showed significantly more accurate beliefs about tobacco than pre-intervention, but this improvement decreased after the retention interval. Results suggest that methods currently used in an attempt to alleviate tobacco misinformation in the public may be effective for short-term, but not long-term retention. The current study accents the need to design tobacco programs that optimize retention of belief change so that people may use that knowledge confidently in future health-related decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-557
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • memory
  • nicotine
  • smoking
  • tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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