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Scary Images On Cigarette Packages Do Make People Think About Quitting

The World Health Organization (WHO) says graphic health warnings on tobacco packages are a powerful “best buy” in decreasing tobacco use and its many health consequences.

Photo by Bill Branson, National Cancer InstituteThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined the research in the MMWR.

The World Health Organization (WHO) created a treaty for tobacco product labels that many countries have ratified. Among other requirements, these warnings are expected to appear on at least 30%, and ideally 50% or more, of the package’s principal display areas, and preferably use pictures.

To assess how cigarette package labels impact quitting smoking, researchers used data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 14 countries from 2008 to 2010 that had ratified WHO’s tobacco control treaty. Current smokers of manufactured cigarettes were asked whether they had noticed health warnings on a cigarette package in the previous 30 days, and whether the label led them to think about quitting smoking.

Among men in 12 of the countries and women in seven countries, more than 90% of smokers reported noticing a package warning in the previous 30 days. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

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