Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kimberly Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janelle Applequist, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelly Werder, Ph.D.


advertising, e-cigarette, electronic Cigarettes, fear appeals


Often thought of as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarette use among youth and young adults has steadily increased over the past 10 years. With over 34 percent of high school students and over 7.8 percent of young adults using electronic cigarettes, organizations like the CDC and the FDA have created campaigns and advertisements to combat the epidemic (Truth Initiative). This study uses a 2x2 between subject factoral experiment to gain insights into how varying levels of anti-vaping advertisements’ threat and efficacy elements effect college age students’ perceptions and behaviors towards e-cigarettes. While several of the study’s hypotheses returned insignificant findings, the researcher identifies several significant relationships that may be useful to organizations creating future anti-vaping advertisements. Findings suggest that men may be less affected by anti-vaping ads than women as they expressed less overall fear and perceived threat in regard to electronic cigarettes.