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Graphic Warning Labels Put Out Smokers' Flame For Cigarettes

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Graphic Warning Labels Put Out Smokers' Flame For Cigarettes

Unsightly Labels Effective In Reaching Adult Smokers

Warnings on cigarette labels have become a ghastly sight. Label pictures include cancerous organs, yellowed and decaying teeth, even cadavers and tombstones. Yet, the gruesome images are for a good cause: Curbing cigarette smoking. New research also shows they've become notably effective in accomplishing the task.

Researchers from the University of South Carolina reached that conclusion after conducting a study on how adult smokers and smokers with little education rated the effectiveness of text-only warning labels and pictorial labels.

Lead investigator Dr. James Thrasher of USC said study participants consistently rated the pictorial labels as being more effective than text warning labels on a 10-point rating scale.

Warning Labels Put On Hold In The U.S.
Thrasher noted that more than 40 countries had developed warning labels to be displayed on cigarette packaging. However, he lamented the fact that the big tobacco lobby has but the brakes on a similar program that was to be put into place in the United States in 2012.

"[The study] results suggest that the FDA should consider implementing warning labels with more graphic imagery in order to maximize the impact of warnings across different populations of adult smokers, including more disadvantaged smokers," Dr. Thrasher said.