Communicating Risk to Smokers: The Impact of Health Warnings on Cigarette Packages

Authors hammond, D., Fong, G. T., Borland, R., Cummings, K. M., McNeill, A., & Driezen, P.
Date March 2007
Publication Link Am J Prev Med. 2007 March ; 32(3): 202–209.
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1868456&tool=pmcentrez&ren
dertype=abstract
Research Category Warning Labels
Country 4-Country
Citation Hammond, D., Fong, G. T., Borland, R., Cummings, K. M., McNeill, A., & Driezen, P. (2007).
Text and graphic warnings on cigarette packages: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32(3), 202-9. Retrieved July 27, 2010, from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1868456&tool=pmcentrez&ren
dertype=abstract.
PDF Link
Abstract Abstract
Background— Health warnings on cigarette packages provide smokers with universal access to
information on the risks of smoking. However, warnings vary considerably among countries, ranging
from graphic depictions of disease on Canadian packages to obscure text warnings in the U.S. The
current study examined the effectiveness of health warnings on cigarette packages in four countries.
Methods— Quasi-experimental design. Telephone surveys were conducted with representative
cohorts of adult smokers (N= 14,975): Canada (n =3687); the U.S. (n =4273); the UK (n= 3634);
and Australia (n =3381). Surveys were conducted between 2002 and 2005, before and at three time
points following new warnings on UK packages.
Results—. At Wave 1, Canadian smokers reported the highest levels of awareness and impact for health warnings among the four countries, followed by Australian smokers. Following the implementation of new UK warnings at Wave 2, UK smokers reported greater levels of awareness and impact, although Canadian smokers continued to report higher levels of impact after adjusting for the implementation date. U.S. smokers reported the lowest levels of effectiveness for almost every measure recorded at each survey wave.
Conclusions— Large, comprehensive warnings on cigarette packages are more likely to be noticed and rated as effective by smokers. Changes in health warnings are also associated with increased effectiveness. Health warnings on U.S. packages, which were last updated in 1984, were associated with the least effectiveness.

Posted on March 18, 2007, in 4 country, Borland, Ron Papers, Cummings, K M - Papers, Driezen, P. - Paper, Fong, Geoffrey papers, Hammond, David Papers, McNeill, Ann - Papers, Recent peer reviewed papers, Warning labels - Research and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Communicating Risk to Smokers: The Impact of Health Warnings on Cigarette Packages.

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