Graphic image can be a better strategy to quit smoking

Graphic image against smoking (Source: unknown)
Graphic image against smoking (Source: unknown)

Main Point:

Cigarette packs with disturbing photos are more helpful in increasing negative feelings about cigarette smoking.

Published in:

PLOS ONE

Study Further:

In a recent study, researchers from the Ohio State University worked on the placement of graphic (disturbing) images on cigarette warning labels. They were trying to compare the text-only warnings with that of graphic warning images.

Researchers worked on cigarette smokers, who were habitual of smoking 5 to 40 cigarettes daily. Those smokers were considered only when they were not thinking of quitting the smoking. Researchers divided those people into three groups, who received their own brands of cigarette, and checked their thoughts after four weeks of cigarette smoking. One group was given the cigarette packs with only text, second group was given the cigarette packs having graphic images along with text, and the third group was given packs with graphic images along with elaborated text.

After completion of four weeks of study, researchers found that the packs with text-only (to avoid cigarette smoking) caused less negative effect on smokers as compared to the packs with graphic images. So, graphic images developed negative effect that was helpful in risk perception leading to thoughts of quitting the smoking. However, elaborated texts on graphic images were unable to reduce warning credibility.

“Graphic warning labels are more effective than text-only warnings in encouraging smokers to consider quitting and in educating them about smoking’s risks,” researchers concluded in the study.

Sources:

Evans, A., Peters, E., Strasser, A., Emery, L., Sheerin, K., & Romer, D. (2015). Graphic Warning Labels Elicit Affective and Thoughtful Responses from Smokers: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial PLOS ONE, 10 (12) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142879

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.