The True Impact of Warning Labels

As you will know, the European parliament have a finalised a decision that states that all warning labels must cover at least 65% of the front and back of traditional cigarette packets however, just how effective are the warning labels as a whole?

Introduction

Well, on July 5th 2013, the results of a study conducted to investigate the “affective and cognitive mediators of the impact of cigarette warning labels” suggested that they may have an indirect approach on smokers. The experiment was hosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and in layman’s terms means how these warning labels impaired smoker’s perceptions and thoughts of stopping the habit indirectly through both an affective pathway (or worry about health) and a cognitive pathway (or warning believability).

Method

In this experiment, smokers were selected and assigned at random to view an internet panel consisting of 1 of 3 kinds of warning labels;

– One label featured just basic text

– One label featured basic text and a graphic image

– The final label featured a graphic image accompanied by both basic and additional text that elaborated on the reason behind the health risk

The study focused on how these two reactions mediated effects on outcomes related to the act of smoking.

Results

It was found that the images shown to the smoker’s did in fact influence a variety of factors including an instantaneous desire to light up a cigarette alongside perceived risk and indirect feelings toward quitting brought around by affective reactions. The text, on the other hand, influenced the same outcomes but this time through a cognitive reaction however, there was  little evidence to suggest a direct effect.

It was also said that believability significantly increased positive feelings towards giving up the habit among those who were less concerned about the health risks associated with smoking.

Conclusion

The results suggest not only that warning labels have more of an indirect approach in comparison to a direct approach but also that both affective and cognitive responses to these labels are vitally important. In addition, it was also found that warning text helps to enhance the effect of images through the means of a cognitive pathway.

On a final note, researchers concluded that “warning labels should be designed to maximise effects on these mediators in order to influence smoking outcomes.”

So, as you can see it has been researched and proven that warning labels may actually have an impact on a smoker’s judgement meaning that the EU’s decision may just be a step in the right direction for helping smokers give up the habit.

Here at Cloudstix we recognise that our range of electronic cigarette starter kitsare not a cessation tool and recommend that if you’re looking to quit your habit, then we advise visiting your local health care provider.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to substitute your habit for a healthier, safer alternative then please take a moment to browse through our starter kits, e liquid and accessories to find the most ideal device for your requirements. If you have any queries regarding any of our products then our friendly customer service team is here to help. Simply give us a call on 0845 257 6543 for more information.

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