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To explore the perceived effectiveness of pictorial health warning (PHW) labels required by the Gulf Cooperation Council, to compare them with the Food and Drug Administration–approved PHW labels, and to determine factors affecting their perceived effectiveness.
A cross-sectional study using a convenience sample of adult smokers and nonsmokers was conducted. The data were collected through a self-administered online questionnaire. The perceived effectiveness scores of PHW labels were calculated and compared among different subgroups using the Kruskal-Wallis test and the Dunn multiple comparison test at a .05 significance level.
Of the 90 people invited to participate in the survey, 77 (86%) completed it, with 39 (50%) nonsmokers, 22 (29%) smokers, and 16 (21%) former smokers. Overall, labels having graphic images of illness or pathology are perceived to be most effective. Smokers generally perceived labels significantly less effective compared with former smokers and nonsmokers. Also, 55 respondents (71%) suggested that the presence of a telephone quit-line would be effective.
Smoking status and image type had the most effect on the perceived effectiveness of the PHW labels on cigarette packs. Pictorial health warning labels with graphic images of pathology and a telephone quit-line are perceived to be most effective.
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