New Graphic Cigarette Package Warnings Should Reduce Demand, Study Suggests

New cigarette labels required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that will carry graphic images of the consequences of smoking should have the desired effect of reducing demand, a new study suggests.

The study included 404 adult smokers who took part in an auction on cigarette packs, with four kinds of warning labels, UPI reports. All of the packs carried the message that smoking causes mouth cancer. The first pack had a text-only message on the side of the pack, similar to what is currently on U.S. cigarette packs. The second pack had a text-only message covering 50 percent of the lower half of the front, back and one side. The third pack had the same message as the second pack, but also included a photo of mouth cancer. The fourth pack had the same text and photo as the third pack, but with most of the recognizable brand imagery removed.

The researchers found the packs with text-only warnings had little effect on consumer demand. Demand was significantly lower for packs with the photos. Consumers were the least attracted to the plain, unbranded pack, the researchers report in the journal Health Policy.

“Results suggest that prominent health warnings with graphic pictures will reduce demand for cigarettes,” the researchers wrote. “Regulators should not only consider this type of warning label, but also plain packaging policies for tobacco products.”

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    August 16, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    I am disappointed that amid all flurry over warnings of the danger of “tobacco” there is no talk of dosage comparisons and no effort to guide users who inhale (almost all cigarette smokers) to switch to a 25-mg. per serving utensil rather than the typical overdose 700-mg cigarette. (I know that is the net weight of the tobacco, at least in a Winston which I weighed myself.) The cheap but effective harm reduction strategy would be to require the company to list that net weight figure– usually 700 mg but more in some extra-length makes such as Pall Mall– on the side of the cigarette in characters as large as those of the adjoining brand name. And, on the pack cover, instead of gruesome pictures, some instructive advertising about where to buy or how to make a 25-mg one-hitter, or how to order an e-cigarette.

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    August 12, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    And if the tobacco companies were really fighting the anti-smokers, they would have demolished the anti-smokers’ scientific fraud. The anti-smokers commit flagrant scientific fraud by ignoring more than 50 studies which show that human papillomaviruses cause at least 1/4 of non-small cell lung cancers. Smokers and passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus for socioeconomic reasons. And the anti-smokers’ studies are all based on lifestyle questionnaires, so they’re cynically DESIGNED to blame tobacco for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV. And they commit the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on tobacco.

    And, all their so-called “independent” reports were ring-led by the same guy, Jonathan M. Samet, including the Surgeon General Reports, the EPA report, the IARC report, and the ASHRAE report, and he’s now the chairman of the FDA Committee on Tobacco. He and his politically privileged clique exclude all the REAL scientists from their echo chamber. That’s how they make their reports “unanimous!”

    For the government to commit fraud to deprive us of our liberties is automatically a violation of our Constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws, just as much as if it purposely threw innocent people in prison. And for the government to spread lies about phony smoking dangers is terrorism, no different from calling in phony bomb threats.

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    August 11, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    Are you kidding me? Remember those ugly, nasty Cabbage Patch trading cards 25 years ago? The nastier the picture, the more their trading value. All you’ve done is make these packages “collectible” and it will ATTRACT kids to them. My God. Didn’t anyone take Psychology?

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