Tobacco Use Insights

Pictorial Health Warnings on Cigarette Packs: A Population Based Study Findings from India

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Tobacco Use Insights 2009:2 11-16

Original Research

Published on 06 Oct 2009

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Introduction: Although tobacco is the leading preventable cause of the death among adults in India, the general public including tobacco users has little awareness about possible consequences of tobacco use. One way of bringing more awareness is to place more information on tobacco products in the form of pictorial warnings. Strong pictorial warnings were mandated by the Indian government but were diluted later on. The question that needs to be investigated whether general public in India needs pictorial warnings on tobacco products and how the warnings would look like?

Material and Method: A survey of 712 individuals was conducted in Mumbai and Thane. A structured questionnaire was designed and data were collected by trained field investigators. The questionnaire contains several questions on awareness of health warnings on tobacco products, opinion on strength of the warnings and on delays in implementing warnings.

Results: Among 712 respondents, 89.9% were aware about health warning messages on cigarettes pack. 88.5% of people were strongly agreed for strengthening the pictorial health warnings. Strong pictorial health warnings would make 23.2% male tobacco users thinking to quit smoking and 33.1% never tobacco users will think twice before starting smoking.

Conclusion: Positive response was shown by general population for implementation of pictorial warnings on tobacco products. Majority of the people were strongly agreed for strong pictorial warnings which were diluted by government notifications in year 2008.




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