Graphic cigarette warnings help smokers to quit
A study that was carried out in the US has revealed graphic health warnings that feature on the side of cigarette packets make smokers take notice of the health risks associated with smoking.
The investigation, which was took place at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, found that smokers were more likely to remember the details of health warnings if they were accompanied by an image.
This study was the first of its kind to be carried out in America, and the results support the findings of previous studies that took place in Europe and Canada.
They found graphic warning labels are proven to be effective in eliciting negative responses to smoking, therefore increasing reported intention to quit smoking in smokers, and modifying beliefs about smoking dangers.
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The team of American researchers recruited 200 smokers to participate in the study, who had to look at two packets of cigarettes with different warning labels.
Half of the group were randomly asked to view a text-only warning label advertisement, which was unaltered and featured the Surgeon General's warning and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) testing information that has appeared on cigarette advertisements since 1985.
The remaining smokers had to look at a graphic warning label version that contained a graphic image (depicting a hospitalised patient on a ventilator) and a health warning with larger text, similar to what has been proposed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be adopted in the US.
Eye-tracking technology was then used to calculate how long each person looked at their specified advert, and which parts of the warning label they focused on the most.
The participants were then asked to take part in a test where they had to recreate and rewrite the warning label, to show how well they remembered it.
The researchers found a significant difference in percentage correct recall of the warning label between those in the text-only versus graphic warning label condition; 50 percent compared to 83 percent.
In addition, the quicker a smoker looked at the large text in the graphic warning, and the longer they viewed the graphic image, the more likely they were at recalling the information correctly.
Commenting on the findings, the lead author of the study, Andrew A. Strasser, said: “An important first step in evaluating the true efficacy of the warning labels is to demonstrate if smokers can correctly recall its content or message.”
“Based on this new research, we now have a better understanding of two important questions about how US smokers view graphic warning labels: do smokers get the message and how do they get the message.”
“In addition to showing the value of adding a graphic warning label, this research also provides valuable insight into how the warning labels may be effective, which may serve to create more effective warning labels in the future,” he continued.
“We're hopeful that once the graphic warning labels are implemented, we will be able to make great strides in helping people to be better informed about their risks, and to convince them to quit smoking.”
The results of the research have now been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”