Graphic Pics Work to Deter Cigarette Smokers
A controlled trial, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, provides evidence -- contrary to claims made by a tobacco company before a federal appellate court -- that graphic pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages can help people to quit smoking.
In the four-week trial involving more than 2,100 smokers, 40 percent of the subjects in a group smoking from packages with pictorial warnings had quit for at least a day, while just 34 percent of those who smoked from packs from text-only warnings had stopped for a day. In addition, the pictorial warnings were more effective than the text-only warnings across races, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels and for both sexes.
"This is the first well-controlled study that demonstrates a change in behavior," said Noel T. Brewer, a professor of health behavior at the University of North Carolina and the lead author of the study, quoted in the New York Times. "It's time for the U.S. to adopt pictorial warnings. Delaying is causing people to continue smoking and die as a result."
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