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Graphic warning labels improve smokers' recall of warning and health risks related to smoking
Date:6/14/2012

the research team utilized sophisticated eye-tracking technology. With this equipment, they were able to measure dwell time (total time viewing various parts of the ad, including the text or graphic warning), time to first viewing of portions of the ad to assess how attention is drawn, and fixations or the number of times they viewed each area of the ad (including the text or graphic warning). After reading the ads, each study participant also had to rewrite the warning label text to demonstrate their recall of the information.

Researchers found a significant difference in percentage correct recall of the warning label between those in the text-only versus graphic warning label condition, 50 percent vs. 83 percent. In addition, the quicker a smoker looked at the large text in the graphic warning, and the longer they viewed the graphic image, the more likely they were at recalling the information correctly.

The researchers say that the new data demonstrates that drawing attention to the warning label can improve recall of health relevant information, which may extend to improving risk perception of smoking. Additionally, attracting attention to the warning before viewing the advertisement body may change the framing of the message in the advertisement body, causing viewers to approach it with greater caution. Finally, time to first viewing has practical application to real-world settings where people may allocate only a few seconds to a print advertisement. Further study on the size, font, color, and location of text may identify the most effective way to draw attention.

"In addition to showing the value of adding a graphic warning label, this research also provides valuable insight into how the warning labels may be effective, which may serve to create more effective warning labels in the future," said Dr. Strasser. "We're hopeful that once the graphic warning labels are implemented, we will be able to make great strides in helping p
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Contact: Jessica Mikulski
jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-8369
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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