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Warning images for cigarette packs proposed by Europe do not make enough emotional impact
Date:5/21/2013

easant. Movements are measured with a polygraph which can detect small changes in body tension.

Results from this second study corroborate those of the first: the tobacco-warning images proposed by Brussels do not make an impact strong enough to provoke an avoidance response that would make people distance themselves from the stimulus, in this case, the cigarette pack. "Most of the photos are perceived as unpleasant but they don't make a strong enough impact on the subject," says Dr Muoz.

What's more, not only are some of the images not perceived as negative"people actually see them as positive. So, they could have the opposite effect by motivating people to approach the stimulus, that is, tobacco." This is what happens with one photograph showing the folded hands of an elderly woman, or another with an ultrasound scan image of a foetus.

Less explicit photos

Dr Muoz says that as the problem affects several EU countries one possible solution "would be to use less explicit photos on cigarette packsphotos that might have nothing to do with smokingand that are related to the feelings we want to arouse in people". In this way, if we want to transmit a sense of asphyxia "we can illustrate the idea with a person with a bag over their head, and if we want to make people feel disgust, we can include a photo of insects, say".

In view of the results of the two studies, the University of Granada researchers propose that "the tobacco-warning images proposed by the European Commission should be reviewed because they do not achieve the desired level of impact in the population. Furthermore, their use was approved in 2003. As they have been in use since then without being changed, people have become accustomed to them, which this contributes to their failure to achieve the desired level of impact," he concludes.


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Contact: Miguel Ángel Muñoz
mamuoz@ugr.es
34-958-243-753
University of Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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