Emily Effer, Sydney E Hattendorf, Hanna J Peterson, Sherilyn E Rogers


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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Health literacy is defined as the range of abilities to comprehend and evaluate health information in a way that allows individuals to make informed choices about their health. People who are especially impacted by this are the international students at the University of Dayton who are immersed in a new culture with a new language. The focus of our project was to determine what health information the international students in the Intensive English Program (IEP) at UD wanted to learn about tobacco use and smoking. We then edited an existing pamphlet about that topic to make it more understandable for IEP readers. Our original text was published by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. When a SMOG test was run, it read at a 12.84 reading level. After meeting with the IEP students for a field test and eliminating complex language, we lowered the reading level to 6.5 and improved overall understanding. If all health information were presented at lower reading levels, the healthcare system in the United States could become less daunting to the majority of adults with low literacy.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Ann E. Biswas

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Increasing Intensive English Program Students’ Understanding of the Health Effects of Smoking Tobacco