Graphic Images Make More Smokers Think About Quitting

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John Pierce, PhD Professor Emeritus Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Moores Cancer Center Director for Population Sciences Co-leader of the Cancer Prevention program UC San Diego

Dr. Pierce

John Pierce, PhD
Professor Emeritus
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
Moores Cancer Center Director for Population Sciences
Co-leader of the Cancer Prevention program
UC San Diego

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Graphic Warning Labels are to be implemented in the US in July 2022, depending on litigation. This will be about 10 years after they were first proposed.  Meanwhile, 120 other countries have implemented them already.

The FDA states that their purpose for the warnings is to provide a constant reminder to smokers about the health consequences of smoking, not to force them to quit.

In our study, 3 months of having cigarettes repackaged into graphic warning packs was associated with smokers thinking more about quitting and not getting as much pleasure out of their cigarettes.  However, thinking about quitting is only the first step to conquering a nicotine addiction.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Most smokers want to quit, and these cigarette packages make them think about it more often.  There is nothing glamorous in the health consequences of smoking.  Evidence from other countries suggests that these packs reduce the number of young people who start as well as getting smokers to move closer to the time that they will finally quit their addiction. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It is important to know whether the graphic warning labels on cigarette packs influence others around the smoker in ways that might help the smoker quit in the near future as well as whether they discourage young people from becoming addicted in the first place. 

 None of the authors has any conflict of interest.

Citation:

Strong DR, Pierce JP, Pulvers K, et al. Effect of Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs on US Smokers’ Cognitions and Smoking Behavior After 3 MonthsA Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2121387. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.21387

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Aug 5, 2021 @ 4:20 pm

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