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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 411-416

Communicating tobacco health risks: How effective are the warning labels on tobacco products?

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Barwala, Panchkula, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Amandeep Chopra
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Golpura, Barwala, Panchkula - 134 009, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.140383

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Background: Health hazards of tobacco are well known but only small numbers of tobacco users are fully aware of the harmful effects of tobacco. Warning labels on tobacco products are an effective way of communicating the consequences of tobacco use and bring about behavioural changes like quitting and reducing the tobacco consumption. So the present study was conducted to investigate the awareness and effectiveness of warning labels on tobacco products among health and non-healthcare professional of Barwala, Panchkula. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out among 408 subjects who were randomly selected from different professional colleges of Barwala, Panchkula. Data obtained were anlysed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test using SPSS 20.0. Results: Most of study participants has noticed the warnings on tobacco products and most of them believe that they could understand warning labels. More that 70% believe that warnings create awareness about health hazards of tobacco and help in reducing or quitting tobacco. Pictorial warning was found to be better as compared to text warning. Health professionals were able to assess pictorial warnings more correctly as compared to non-healthcare professionals. Conclusion: Warning labels on tobacco packs effectively inform people about adverse health effects of tobacco but the mandated warnings do not serve the desired purpose since they are not properly understood.

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