Graphic Labels on Cigarette Packs Help Smokers Quit
It’s not so easy to ignore disturbing images, even when you’re trying to.
A new study at Ohio State University provides the first real-world evidence that graphic images on cigarette warning labels actually can discourage people from smoking.
Researchers found that smokers who saw graphic labels on every pack of cigarettes they smoked for four weeks had more negative feelings about smoking compared to those who saw just text warnings. The images led them to look more closely at the warnings and put more credence into them. They also remembered more of the health risks of the habit.
The team used graphic warning labels created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including one showing a man smoking through a hole in his throat, called a tracheostomy. That procedure can be the result of smoking-related cancers.
The research is the first to look at the impact of such labels on smokers outside of a laboratory and over a relatively long period of time.