Adult Smokers’ Reactions to Pictorial Health Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs in Thailand and Moderating Effects of Type of Cigarette Smoked: Findings From the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia Survey
In this study, we aimed to examine, in Thailand, the impact on smokers’ reported awareness of and their cognitive and behavioral reactions following the change from text-only to pictorial warnings printed on cigarette packs. We also sought to explore differences by type of cigarette smoked (roll-your-own [RYO] vs. factory-made [FM] cigarettes).
Data came from the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia Survey, conducted in Thailand and Malaysia, where a representative sample of 2,000 adult smokers from each country were recruited and followed up. We analyzed data from one wave before (Wave 1) and two waves after the implementation of the new pictorial warnings (two sets introduced at Waves 2 and 3, respectively) in Thailand, with Malaysia, having text-only warnings, serving as a control.
Following the warning label change in Thailand, smokers’ reported awareness and their cognitive and behavioral reactions increased markedly, with the cognitive and behavioral effects sustained at the next follow-up. By contrast, no significant change was observed in Malaysia over the same period. Compared to smokers who smoke any FM cigarettes, smokers of only RYO cigarettes reported a lower salience but greater cognitive reactions to the new pictorial warnings.
The new Thai pictorial health warning labels have led to a greater impact than the text-only warning labels, and refreshing the pictorial images may have helped sustain effects. This finding provides strong support for introducing pictorial warning labels in low- and middle-income countries, where the benefits may be even greater, given the lower literacy rates and generally lower levels of readily available health information on the risks of smoking.
- SourceAvailable from: Isabel A David[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The use of pictorial warning labels on cigarette packages is one of the provisions included in the first ever global health treaty by the World Health Organization against the tobacco epidemic. There is substantial evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of graphic health warning labels on intention to quit, thoughts about health risks and engaging in cessation behaviors. However, studies that address the implicit emotional drives evoked by such warnings are still underexplored. Here, we provide experimental data for the use of pictorial health warnings as a reliable strategy for tobacco control. Experiment 1 pre-tested nineteen prototypes of pictorial warnings to screen for their emotional impact. Participants (n = 338) were young adults balanced in gender, smoking status and education. Experiment 2 (n = 63) tested pictorial warnings (ten) that were stamped on packs. We employed an innovative set-up to investigate the impact of the warnings on the ordinary attitude of packs' manipulation, and quantified judgments of warnings' emotional strength and efficacy against smoking. Experiment 1 revealed that women judged the warning prototypes as more aversive than men, and smokers judged them more aversive than non-smokers. Participants with lower education judged the prototypes more aversive than participants with higher education. Experiment 2 showed that stamped warnings antagonized the appeal of the brands by imposing a cost to manipulate the cigarette packs, especially for smokers. Additionally, participants' judgments revealed that the more aversive a warning, the more it is perceived as effective against smoking. Health warning labels are one of the key components of the integrated approach to control the global tobacco epidemic. The evidence presented in this study adds to the understanding of how implicit responses to pictorial warnings may contribute to behavioral change.PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e72117. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0072117 · 3.53 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We examined the impact of cigarette pack warning labels on interest in quitting and subsequent quit attempts among adult smokers in Malaysia and Thailand. Two overlapping cohorts of adults who reported smoking factory- made cigarettes from Malaysia and Thailand were interviewed face-to-face (3189 were surveyed at baseline and 1781 re-contacted at Wave 2; 2361 current smokers were surveyed at Wave 2 and 1586 re-contacted at Wave 3). In Thailand at baseline, large text only warnings were assessed, while at Wave 2 new large graphic warnings were assessed. In Malaysia, during both waves small text only warnings were in effect. Reactions were used to predict interest in quitting, and to predict making quit attempts over the following inter-wave interval. Multivariate predictors of "interest in quitting" were comparable across countries, but predictors of quit attempts varied. In both countries, cognitive reactions to warnings (adjusted ORs; 1.57 & 1.69 for Malaysia at wave 1 and wave 2 respectively and 1.29 & 1.19 for Thailand at wave 1 and wave 2 respectively), forgoing a cigarette (except Wave 2 in Malaysia) (adjusted ORs; 1.77 for Malaysia at wave 1 and 1.54 & 2.32 for Thailand at wave 1 and wave 2 respectively), and baseline knowledge (except wave 2 in both countries) (adjusted ORs; 1.71 & 1.51 for Malaysia and Thailand respectively) were positively associated with interest in quitting at that wave. In Thailand only, "cognitive reactions to warnings" (adjusted ORs; 1.12 & 1.23 at wave 1 and wave 2 respectively), "forgoing a cigarette" (adjusted OR = 1.55 at wave 2 only) and "an interest in quitting" (adjusted ORs; 1.61 & 2.85 at wave 1 and wave 2 respectively) were positively associated with quit attempts over the following inter-wave interval. Salience was negatively associated with subsequent quit attempts in both Malaysia and Thailand, but at Wave 2 only (adjusted ORs; 0.89 & 0.88 for Malaysia and Thailand respectively). Warnings appear to have common mechanisms for influencing quitting regardless of warning strength. The larger and more informative Thai warnings were associated with higher levels of reactions predictive of quitting and stronger associations with subsequent quitting, demonstrating their greater potency.Tobacco Induced Diseases 09/2013; 11(1):20. DOI:10.1186/1617-9625-11-20 · 1.50 Impact Factor
- BMJ (online) 02/2014; 348:f7616. DOI:10.1136/bmj.f7616 · 16.38 Impact Factor