Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Are Health Warnings Any Good?

I've always wondered whether serious smokers paid any attention to the health warnings on cigarette packs. Frankly, I think the warnings aren't worth the paper they are printed on - they don't seem to have put many people off buying cigarettes . I'm not a smoker myself. I tried it many years ago and fortunately didn't like it.

Maybe the health warnings do help some smokers quit. A new study shows that pictorial warnings on cigarette packs have a greater impact on smokers than warnings that consist of plain text. On the face of it, this seems to provide some evidence to support the UK's plans to introduce picture warnings later this year.

And then there are the graphic anti-smoking messages that are sometimes shown on British TV. Don't get me started on that one. I don't think die-hard smokers take any notice of those messages or health warnings for that matter. I know smokers who continue to smoke even after losing a family member to smoking-related cancer. What graphic image or large pictorial health warning is going to stop someone like that?

No comments: