Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kimberly Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Artemio Ramirez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janelle Applequist, Ph.D.


Anti-vaping messages, ELM, Risk perception, Source credibility


E-cigarettes also referred to as vapes or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) were developed as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking, but the prevalent usage among young adults has led to deleterious mental and physical health challenges. Communications interventions against e-cigarette use have employed a variety of message strategies, but one that has not received a lot of attention is the credibility of a spokesperson and the impacts it could have. Grounded in the Elaboration Likelihood Model, the current study aimed to examine the impacts of spokesperson credibility in e-cigarette prevention messages, and the moderating role of perceived risk.

The study employed a posttest-only experimental method with 313 participants. While accounting for their levels of perceived risks, participants were exposed to a credible spokesperson and no credible spokesperson conditions with perceived effectiveness, elaboration, and e-cigarette use attitudes as outcomes.

Findings revealed no significant effects for spokesperson credibility, however, perceived risk predicted significant changes in all criterion variables. The main practical implication is that the use of spokespersons on e-cigarette messages might not be solely enough to achieve attitudinal and behavioral change.

Included in

Communication Commons