Graphic images won’t help quit smoking: Study

New York, Feb 23 (IANS) The graphic images like cancerous lungs and lips may not deter smokers to quit smoking, rather for many of them these images are perceived as a threat to their freedom, choice or autonomy, finds a study.

According to a University of Illinois study “the good intentions of this tobacco control measure may be for naught”.

“What we found is that most people don’t like these warning labels, whether they are smokers or non-smokers,” said lead author of the study, Nicole LaVoie, in the paper published in the journal Communication Research.

“It makes them angry, it makes them express negative thoughts about the packaging that they’re being manipulated,” LaVoie added.

The participants in the study were 435 undergraduates between the ages of 18 and 25, with a median age of 20.

All participants were given a cigarette package, along with a questionnaire designed to measure certain personality traits, as well as their reaction to the package.

Half of the smokers and half of the non-smokers were given packages with graphic warning labels and the other half were given packages with a text-only label like the one now in use.

Also, many smokers simply buy and use slip covers that go over the package, she said. They can avoid the images, regain a sense of control and continue to smoke.

Since smokers tend to be somewhat higher in this trait, LaVoie said: “We might actually be doing harm to a group that might need the most help if they’re battling an addiction to smoking.”

“We always measure and look at the intended effects, like encouraging people to quit smoking, but sometimes we don’t remember to look at what else these messages are doing that we’re not thinking about, like causing reactance,” LaVoie said.

“If these individuals see things as freedom threats, they are going to be more attracted to perform the threatened behaviour,” said co-researcher Brian Quick.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here