Journal of Public Policy & Marketing
The World Health Organization recently adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a groundbreaking public health treaty that will require that warning information in the form of text, pictures, or a combination of these two forms cover at least 30% of the front and back of cigarette packages. In three studies using smokers from the United States and Canada, the authors examine the effects of specific graphic visuals in the context of current U.S. verbal warnings. The findings indicate that including both graphic visual warnings, such as those used in Canada, and warning statements currently used in the United States can decrease the perceived attractiveness of the package and create higher levels of negative affect, such as fear or anxiety. The results also show that the addition of the specific visual warnings examined to the U.S. statements increases smokers’ perceived intentions of quitting smoking compared with warning statements alone. The authors offer implications for public policy and public health and provide suggestions for further research.