Pictorial warnings on cigarette packs have less impact on teen smokers

Washington, Sept. 05 (ANI): A new research has revealed that health warnings on the back of a make little impact on teen smokers, particularly those who smoke regularly.

The researchers base their findings on the responses of more than a thousand 11 to 16 year olds in the UK, in two waves of the Youth Tobacco Policy Survey in 2008 (1401) and 2011 (1373).

The same text warnings appeared on the front and back of packs at both time points, with the only difference being the display of images on the back of packs to support the text warnings in 2011.

The teens were quizzed about the visibility and impact of the warnings; how well they served as visual cues; how easy they were to understand and believe; and how persuasive they were.

It was found that most of the respondents in both waves, 68-75 percent, had never smoked; 17-22 percent had experimented with cigarettes; and around one in 10 were already regular smokers, defined as smoking at least one cigarette every week.

Half the respondents in both waves said they had 'often' or 'very often' noticed the warnings, and around one in five had very often read or looked closely at them.

Overall, only one in 10 teens said they thought about the warnings when the pack was not in sight, although never smokers were significantly more likely to think about warnings 'often' or 'very often.'

The research is published in the journal Tobacco Control. (ANI)

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