July 13, 2016 – Scary Packaging


Anchor lead:  Graphic pictures may help people stop smoking, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Pictures of diseased lungs, holes in the throat to help people breath and other images on cigarette packs do have an impact when it comes to smoking cessation, a recent study found.  Enid Neptune, an anti-smoking advocate and lung expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the study.

Neptune: The question was whether smokers who used these packages with these pictorial warnings would be more inclined to stop smoking.  And they found that whereas 34% of those with the text only warnings attempted to quit about 40% of those with the pictorial warnings attempted.  Furthermore whereas only 3.8% of those with the text only warnings had quit at the end of the study, 5.7% of those with the pictorial warnings or the graphic images had quit.   :29

Neptune says the study may help efforts to modify cigarette packaging in the US to carry such images.  She says data from Australia, where such packages are already in place, prove that they do help people quit or simply never begin smoking.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.