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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

versial area.”

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

toward quitting.

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

Marquette University

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