The warning images Brussels proposes to include on tobacco packages in order to reduce consumption do not make the desired impact on smokers because they only find some of them really unpleasant. So, if the European Commission wants to improve the efficacy of its anti-smoking campaigns, it should produce a new set of images that make a stronger emotional impact.
These are some of the conclusions of research conducted in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment at the University of Granada by Miguel ngel Muoz, Luis Ciria y Jaime Vila Castelar, to assess the emotional impact of the tobacco-warning images on cigarette packs proposed by the European Commission.
University of Granada researchers have conducted two complementary studies on the same topic. In the firstpublished in "Tobacco Control"they recorded the subjective opinions of 597 participants, grouped into six age ranges: 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-20, 21-22 and over 23 years. The participants were shown the European Commission's proposed set of 35 tobacco-warning images (Directive 2003/641/CE, dated 5/09/ 2003).
Measuring impact with physiological tests
In the second study, recently presented at the "I Iberian Conference on the Clinical Physiology of Health and Sport (I Congreso Ibrico de Psicologa Clnica de la Salud y el Deporte), researchers used objective physiological tests to measure the efficacy of these images. In a sample of 50 subjects aged between 19 and 23 years, they analysed variables like perspiration, movement of the zygomatic muscle (which reflects smiling) or of the corrugator muscle (located between the eyebrows).
They also studied the subjects' head movement on seeing the images. "When movement is backwards, it means there is an avoidance response, in other words, the person moves away because the image is unpleasant," says Miguel ngel Muoz, principal researcher. If the head movement is forwards, that means we perceive the image as pl
|Contact: Miguel Ángel Muñoz|
University of Granada