Strong Public Support for Pictorial Health Warnings- Evidence from India

Strong Public Support for Pictorial Health Warnings- Evidence from India

A study was conducted to determine the opinion of general public towards implementation of pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in India. This study was conducted in the households and colleges in different localities of Mumbai city. 712 people above the age of 15 years participated in the study.

• More than 90% people were aware that smoking causes serious health problems and it actually kills.
• Almost 90% were aware of health warnings on cigarette packs and 97% were of the opinion that pictorial warnings should be displayed on cigarette packs in India.
• 88% people strongly agreed that the health warning now proposed by the government should be improved to convey very serious diseases caused by tobacco, like cancer.
• Almost 85% people wanted strong warnings on cigarette packs to be displayed immediately.
• 68% people showed high concern for the delay in implementation of the law pertaining to pictorial health warnings.
• With pictorial health warnings:
- 32.4% respondents felt, non-smokers will think twice before starting smoking,
- 31.5% felt, smokers will think of reducing smoking,
- 23% felt, smokers will think of quitting smoking

Policy Recommendations

• Effective enforcement of current warnings on all tobacco packs.
• The current warnings must be field tested to assess their effectiveness amongst all strata of society to determine if they effectively communicate the actual health impact of tobacco use.
• The current warnings have to become stronger in the next round of rotation. These needs to be stronger in terms of size and content of pictograms.

This study was conducted by Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, Mumbai, a member organization of the Advocacy Forum for Tobacco Control (AFTC)

Credits: this advocacy card is published and distributed by Indian Society Against Smoking (ISAS), Asha Parivar. We acknowledge the financial contribution received from Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco use and technical contribution received from HRIDAY on behalf of Advocacy Forum for Tobacco Control - AFTC (Delhi).

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