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Health warnings on cigarettes could deter young people

Date:
December 11, 2017
Source:
Cancer Research UK
Summary:
Young people are less likely to try cigarettes with the printed health warning 'Smoking kills' on each stick than standard cigarettes, according to a new study.
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Young people are less likely to try cigarettes with the printed health warning 'Smoking kills' on each stick than standard cigarettes, according to a new study by Cancer Research UK published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Researchers wanted to examine new, innovative ways to reinforce health messages around smoking. They surveyed nearly 1000 16-24 year olds from across the UK to evaluate their response to different cigarette designs.

A health warning on the side of each cigarette meant young people -- including smokers and non-smokers -- were around three times less likely to want to try them than standard cigarettes. Smokers were the most put off by them.

Young people also said that green cigarettes were less tempting than standard cigarettes.

Smoking tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK and the leading cause of preventable death. While smoking rates among young people in the UK are going down, one in every six 16-24 year olds is a smoker in Great Britain. And in Scotland a fifth of all 16-24 year olds smoke.

Dr Crawford Moodie, Cancer Research UK-funded scientist and lead author said: "The study shows how cigarettes can be an important communication tool and that altering their appearance, with a health warning or an unappealing colour, can make them less desirable. Young people who start smoking are likely to continue to do so into adulthood, so anything that may deter smoking among this group could help to tackle the potential health repercussions in later life."

George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK's senior policy manager said: "Too many young people are still taking up smoking in the UK. Government anti-smoking campaigns and tax rises on cigarettes remain the most effective methods to stop young people starting. We need to continue to explore innovative ways to turn young people off cigarettes to ensure that youth smoking rates continue to drop. This study shows that tactics like making the cigarettes themselves unappealing could be an effective way of doing this."


Story Source:

Materials provided by Cancer Research UK. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Crawford Moodie, Philip Gendall, Janet Hoek, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Catherine Best, Susan Murray. The response of young adult smokers and non-smokers in the United Kingdom to dissuasive cigarettes: An online survey. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2017; DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntx261

Cite This Page:

Cancer Research UK. "Health warnings on cigarettes could deter young people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171211120345.htm>.
Cancer Research UK. (2017, December 11). Health warnings on cigarettes could deter young people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171211120345.htm
Cancer Research UK. "Health warnings on cigarettes could deter young people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171211120345.htm (accessed June 23, 2024).

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