FDA to decide on new cigarette labels: How graphic should they be?
Within the next week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to release final rules on new warning labels for cigarette packages.
It’s likely the new warnings will be quite shocking to some smokers if the FDA opts to use some of the proposed graphic warning labels.
The most important question is, if the FDA adopts these warnings, will they be effective? A review (see study in Tobacco Control) of the existing scientific literature appears to suggest that yes, they will. And the more shocking, the better.
Here are some conclusions Canadian research David Hammond drew from his analysis of 94 original articles:
I say bring on the warnings if they help people build the resolve to quit, or not start in the first place.
- The impact of health warnings depends upon their size and design.
- Obscure text-only warnings appear to have little impact.
- Prominent health warnings on the face of packages serve as a source of health information for smokers and non-smokers.
- Pictorial health warnings that elicit strong emotional reactions are significantly more effective.
- These prominent warnings can increase health knowledge and perceptions of risk and can promote smoking cessation.
- The evidence also indicates comprehensive warnings are effective among youth and may help to prevent smoking initiation.
I was not able to add the two pictures it gives, but they are on the link.
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