Study Supports Use of Graphic Pictorial Warning Labels

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Pictorial Graphic Labels Cigarettes

For some time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been pushing for big tobacco companies to place graphic images on cigarette warning labels. While there has bene pushback, a new study suggests such graphic images may actually make warning labels more effective.

This study examined nine pictorial warning labels (PWLs) proposed by the FDA–each label differing from the others in terms of imagery and text. The study’s main objective was to investigate the effect of these images and text on smoker’s attention and his or her ability to recall the content of the label.

During the course of the study, 120 daily smokers were randomly assigned to view PWLs that had both common and differing labels while having their eye movements recorded. The study’s participants were then asked to recall label content immediately after seeing the labels and then 5 days later.