Cigarette shocks plus positive response
Smoker warnings: shocks plus positive response
In many countries worldwide, warnings and shocking images have been printed on cigarette packs for years to highlight the health risks of tobacco use. While these may be effective, a new study suggests that it would do more to highlight the benefits of smoking cessation.
Warnings and shocks worldwide on cigarette packs
„Smoking die earlier“, „smoking can be deadly“, „Warning! Smoking causes cancer“: Something similar is the message that has been printed on cigarette packs in many countries around the world for years. In addition, in many nations shock images of gnawed lungs, black teeth or patients with breathing tubes are displayed on the packets. Researchers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in the US have now explored the question of whether it would not be more effective to convince smokers of the benefits of living without tobacco, rather than warning about the health consequences or possible painful deaths. The researchers concluded that the answer seems to depend on whether the addressee dares to quit smoking.
Death warnings are not effective in all smokers
As part of their study, Darren Mays and his team interviewed 740 smokers aged 18 to 30 about the impact of messages on cigarette packets. It turned out that neither the news on the benefits of smoking cessation nor the death warnings were effective in all smokers. Like the researchers in the journal „Nicotine & Tobacco Research“ Write positive messages that highlight the benefits of a smoke-free life, especially addressed those smokers who believed that they manage to get rid of the cigarette.
Combine positive and negative messages
For people whose imagination is difficult to stop, on the other hand, is the text „smoking kills“ more effective. The shock pictures produced the „Picture notes on lung diseases and cancer“ the strongest effect. As the scientists go on to write, most messages on cigarette packets would point out the dangers of smoking. However, one can not convince all smokers, says Mays: „Our study shows that you can make more smokers quit by using both positive and negative messages.“
Shock pictures in the future also in the EU
The European Union (EU) will also be shocked by the fight against smoking. As of 2016, for example, on cigarette packs rotten feet or a black smoker's lung can be seen. At the same time, the warnings should be significantly larger than before: they will cover 65 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs. Originally, the European Commission recommended 75 percent. Currently, the warnings take at least 30 percent of the front and 40 percent of the back.
Particularly dangerous substances should be completely banned
Tobacco products are also said to be completely banned from dangerous additives that can cause cancer, "alter the genetic material or limit reproductive ability". The same applies to "flavors such as vanilla or chocolate, which soften the bitter taste of tobacco and thus make it easier for young people in particular to get into smoking". And menthol cigarettes will also be withdrawn from the market, but not until 2020. Although it is welcome that European countries respond to the harmful effects of smoking, they often lag behind internationally.
Australia, for example, is often highlighted by experts as having an exemplary role. So there are not only shock pictures for years in use, but even the name of the cigarette manufacturer is printed only small on the packaging. In addition, tobacco companies in Australia are virtually prohibited advertising and sponsorship today. The tightened legislation is having an effect: since 1983, the number of smokers on the fifth continent has more than halved. (Ad)