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Why Those Tobacco Companies Are So Mad: Graphic Images Work In Turning People Away From Smoking

| Filed under: HealthSmoking

Smoking Graphics Work

Remember when we were talking about how the Tobacco Companies were suing the federal government over the policy that they now have to include a graphic image, warning, and help to quit hotline number on their packaging?

And do you remember how we said that we felt like it was less about them caring about their first amendment rights and more about them being pissed that they'll lose money from lives being saved?

Well it turns out all that greedy anger has a basis, because those graphic images work!

Smokers are less likely to buy cigarettes if they are in plain, unbranded packages with warning labels featuring graphic images of cancer, a new study finds.

"We found that the label with just the front text warning had little effect on consumers," study co-author and professor of economics Matthew Rousu said in a university news release. "However, demand was significantly lower for packs with grotesque images, with the lowest demand associated with the plain, unbranded pack."

Bids for the plain, unbranded packs with the graphic photo of mouth cancer were 17 percent lower than the bids for packages with the current U.S. warning label.

The study appears in the September issue of the journal Health Policy.

"Results from our study suggest that the new health warnings with graphic pictures will reduce demand for cigarettes," Rousu said. Regulators should consider health warnings with graphic pictures, but also plain packaging policies for tobacco products," he added. "Color and brand imagery can support false beliefs about reduced risks of some brands."

We're jazzed that those images work! Smoking is a terrible health risk, and a risk that nobody really has to take. And steps towards eliminating it and saving lives is a good step.

We understand that there is and always will be a choice for people to smoke, but hopefully for their health's sake these new labels will help them choose wisely!

[Image via AP Images.]

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