Graphic tobacco health warnings: Which genre to choose?

Z. Sobani, S. Nizami, E. Raza, N. Ul Ain Baloch, J. A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Tobacco prevention studies show that graphic health warnings are more effective than text warnings, but there are no data on the effectiveness of different types of graphic health warnings in a Pakistani population. Even marginal differences in the effectiveness of genres can be of potential significance for public health. OBJECTIVE: To study the effectiveness of different types of graphic tobacco warnings in a Pakistani population. STUDY DESIGN: We presented ten anti-smoking warnings to randomly selected volunteers (n = 170) and recorded their opinion on the effectiveness of each warning. The warnings were based on a range of images aimed at the diverse population interviewed. A grading scale based on appeal, application, educational potential and motivation towards cessation was used to produce a composite grade of perceived effectiveness of the warning. RESULTS: Our results indicate that graphic warnings reach a greater proportion of the population than text warnings. Those appealing to logic, and those inculcating a sense of fear by showing a deleterious outcome of smoking, were judged likely to be most effective in motivating smokers to quit and preventing experimental smokers from forming a habit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-361
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Anti-tobacco warnings
  • Graphic health warnings
  • Smoking cessation


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