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Warnings on cigarettes curb use, study says

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Researchers find that printing “smoking kills” on cigarettes could “prolong the health message”

Researchers at the University of Stirling asked 120 smokers aged 16+ to describe their response to the warnings.

Many participants described them as “depressing, worrying and frightening.”

The university says that this approach can prolong the health message because it’s visible for longer.

Cancer Research UK are hopeful that the initiative could cut smoking rates.

They say it makes cigarettes “unappealing” and less likely to appeal to young smokers.

Dr Crawford Moodie, who led the study, said:

“The consensus was that individual cigarettes emblazoned with warnings would be off-putting for young people, those starting to smoke, and non-smokers.

“This study suggests that the introduction of such warnings could impact the decision-making of these groups.

“It shows that this approach is a viable policy option and one which would – for the first time – extend health messaging to the consumption experience.”

Smokers in each of the 20 focus groups said that the warnings would potentially have an impact on themselves or others.

This is important for Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, Linda Bauld, who believes too many young people are taking up smoking.

She said:

“Government anti-smoking campaigns and tax rises on cigarettes remain the most effective methods to stop young people starting smoking, but we need to continue to explore innovative ways to deter them from using cigarettes to ensure that youth smoking rates continue to drop.

“This study shows that tactics like making the cigarettes themselves unappealing could be an effective way of doing this.”

The UK’s adult smoking rate has reached an all-time low of 14%.

However, the government is working towards achieving a smoke-free Britain by 2030.

Source: Sky News

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