Graphic Images on Cigarette Packages

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Graphic Images on Cigarette Packages

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently requires health warning labels on all cigarette packaging in the United States. Although prominent, these text warning labels do not always deter consumers from smoking.

Published in the journal PLOS ONE, a study focuses on whether graphic images along with the text warnings would discourage more people from continuing this habit. Two hundred and forty four adults participated in this study. They all smoked between five and 40 cigarettes a day. The smokers were provided with modified packages of cigarettes of their choice. Some packages just had text warnings while others contained different graphic images. An example of a graphic image is a man smoking through a hole in his throat due to a tracheostomy. When they exchanged the packages for new ones, they responded to survey questions.

Those who received packages with the graphic images had more negative feelings about smoking after a four week period. When combined with the text warnings, the graphic images became more credible to the smokers. These smokers stated that because of their new feelings, they intended to quit.