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Giving Compass' Take:
• Kathleen J. Davis explains that graphic warning labels on cigarettes are an effective deterrent except for those individuals who smoke within thirty minutes of waking up.
• How can funders use this information to direct effective anti-smoking campaigns?
• Learn about smoking rates in the United States.
Graphic images on cigarette packaging keep some adult smokers from buying them. But smokers who have their first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up aren't influenced the by the stomach-churning photos, according to new research from the RAND Corporation in Pittsburgh.
William Shadel, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND who co-authored the study, said he was surprised by the results because he expected smokers across the board to react the same way.
"But the results of this study give us a little pause to say wait a minute, there might be some people who really respond to these, and some people who don't respond at all in the way we'd expect," Shadel said.
Allegheny County Health Department Director Karen Hacker said she's not surprised by the findings.
"If you are super addicted, you've probably seen it all," she said.
Hacker said there are a couple interventions she thinks would be universally effective: change state law to restrict indoor smoking and increase taxes on cigarettes.
"Those seem to be very effective, particularly for populations that are highly addicted to nicotine," Hacker said.
Read the full article about graphic warning labels on cigarettes by Kathleen J. Davis at 90.5 WESA.