Graphic images successful in helping smokers remember health risks

18th June 2012 - Fine Cut

The graphic images used on cigarette packets are largely successful in helping people to remember the health risks associated with smoking, according to new research.

A study from the University of Pennsylvania has indicated that an accompanying image makes users 66 per cent more likely to remember the health warnings printed on cigarette packets.

According to netdoctor.co.uk, the researchers came to their conclusion by asking a sample group to study a cigarette packet before being asked to write down what the warning printed on the labels said.

83 per cent of those shown a packet with an accompanying image were able to correctly recall the health warning, whilst only 50 per cent of those shown a packet with no picture could do the same.

In an interview with bbc.co.uk, the study's lead author Dr. Andrew Strasser claimed that he hoped the study would help people become better informed about the risks of smoking.

"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 said.

The results could potentially aid the UK Government's ongoing consultation exploring whether tobacco products should be sold in standardised packaging.

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