Substance Use and Memory for Health Warning Labels

David Mackinnon, Andrea M. Fenaughty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This article reports the relationship between substance use and memory for health warnings for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol. Measures of substance use and recognition memory for warning labels were collected from 2 samples of college students (n = 288 and n = 243). It was hypothesized that if health warnings were noticed and remembered, then users, because they were often exposed to the warning labels, would have more accurate memory for the risks written on the containers of these products than nonusers. Prior research had not confirmed this relationship. In Study 1, a statistically significant correlation was obtained between use and recognition memory for both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The effects for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco were replicated in Study 2 and observed for alcohol as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-150
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993


  • alcohol
  • drug prevention
  • memory for health risks
  • tobacco
  • warning labels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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