In the study, 511 adult smokers were shown one of four graphic visual health-warning labels that covered approximately 40 percent of a standard cigarette package. All labels contained the phrase, “WARNING: Smoking Causes Mouth Diseases.” Three of the labels also featured a different photograph depicting increasingly stronger degrees of mouth disease; the fourth label was a control that contained only the text. Among other measures, participants were asked their opinions about the labels, fear and their intentions to quit smoking.
For Dr. Craig Andrews, professor and Charles
contribution to the understanding of
H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing, one answer
marketing and public policy issues.
lies with the graphic pictorial warnings
“This was a massive two-year review
Dr. Craig Andrews
that are now emblazoned on cigarette
process,” Andrews recalls. “What made
packages in more than 50 countries world-
this project challenging are the different
world to mandate text-based warnings on
wide. The United States is not one of them.
viewpoints on the topic. This is a contro-
cigarette packages, yet we’ll be one of the
last to have graphic images,” Andrews notes.
Andrews and collaborators from the University of Arkansas and Villanova
“The U.S. was the first country in the
Though the topic is indeed controver-
Though the project started more
University conducted an experiment with
sial, Andrews emphasizes that he and his
than four years ago, it continues to
more than 500 U.S. and Canadian adult
collaborators made no judgments.
evolve. Andrews, who also serves on
smokers and found that highly graphic
“The project was meant to be objective,
the FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory
images of the negative consequences
consumer research that could help inform
Committee in Washington, D.C., worked
of smoking have the greatest impact on
officials at the U.S. Department of Health
the research into his new book, the
smokers’ intentions to quit, and the more
and Human Services and the U.S. Food
ninth edition of the market-leading text
graphic the depictions, the stronger the
and Drug Administration,” he says.
Advertising, Promotion and Other Aspects
effects. Further, the researchers found
Those are the two agencies ultimately
that the images evoked fear, which in
responsible for enforcing the 2009 Family
which he co-authored with his dissertation
turn served as the primary underlying
Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control
adviser, Dr. Terence Shimp.
mechanism driving smokers’ attitudes
Act, a now-stalled U.S. law that requires
graphic pictorial warning labels on
focus to adolescent and young smokers,
cigarette packages. One federal appeals
and they’ve discussed international studies
by the Journal of Public Policy and
court has since agreed with the tobacco
that may include the European Union.
Marketing. Two years later, the team was
industry’s assertion that the law violates
Andrews is also turning his attention
awarded the journal’s prestigious Thomas
First Amendment rights for commercial
to a separate project on the efficacy of
C. Kinnear Award, which honors the
speech. Meanwhile, the Justice Department
color-coded nutrition disclosures on food
journal article published between 2008
has appealed and tobacco companies
labels, a practice that’s gaining traction in
and 2010 that made the most significant
still haven’t added the warnings.
the United States and United Kingdom.
Their research was published in 2010
of Integrated Marketing Communications,
The original research team has shifted