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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 868; doi:10.3390/ijerph14080868

Influence of Health Warnings on Beliefs about the Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking, in the Context of an Experimental Study in Four Asian Countries

1
School of Public Health & Health Systems, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. W., Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
2
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
3
Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, 501 Technocity, TTC Industrial Area, Mahape, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400701, India
4
Tobacco Control Office, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), 27 Nan Wei Road, Beijing 100050, China
5
Boehringer Ingelheim (China) Investment Co. Ltd., 18/F, Pingan International Finance Center, Xinyuan S. Rd., Beijing 100027, China
6
American Cancer Society, 555 11th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
7
Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rosemary Hiscock
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1524 KB, uploaded 3 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

Cigarette package health warnings can be an important and low-cost means of communicating the health risks of smoking. We examined whether viewing health warnings in an experimental study influenced beliefs about the health effects of smoking, by conducting surveys with ~500 adult male smokers and ~500 male and female youth (age 16–18) in Beijing, China (n = 1070), Mumbai area, India (n = 1012), Dhaka, Bangladesh (n = 1018), and Republic of Korea (n = 1362). Each respondent was randomly assigned to view and rate pictorial health warnings for 2 of 15 different health effects, after which they reported beliefs about whether smoking caused 12 health effects. Respondents who viewed relevant health warnings (vs. other warnings) were significantly more likely to believe that smoking caused that particular health effect, for several health effects in each sample. Approximately three-quarters of respondents in China (Beijing), Bangladesh (Dhaka), and Korea (which had general, text-only warnings) thought that cigarette packages should display more health information, compared to approximately half of respondents in the Mumbai area, India (which had detailed pictorial warnings). Pictorial health warnings that convey the risk of specific health effects from smoking can increase beliefs and knowledge about the health consequences of smoking, particularly for health effects that are lesser-known. View Full-Text
Keywords: tobacco use; smoking; health knowledge; health beliefs; warning labels; global health; adolescent tobacco use; smoking; health knowledge; health beliefs; warning labels; global health; adolescent
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MDPI and ACS Style

Reid, J.L.; Mutti-Packer, S.; Gupta, P.C.; Li, Q.; Yuan, J.; Nargis, N.; Hussain, A.K.M.G.; Hammond, D. Influence of Health Warnings on Beliefs about the Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking, in the Context of an Experimental Study in Four Asian Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 868.

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