Does 85% pictorial health warning on the tobacco products have the impact among tobacco users in India?
M Bincy 1  
,  
E Vidhubala 2
,  
 
 
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1
Indian Institute of Sports Medicine, Psychology, India
2
Indian Institute of Sports Medicine, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A758
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ABSTRACT
Background:
After persistent civil society and judicial interventions, 85% Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) was implemented in India since April, 2016. The previous 40% PHW had negligible impact in preventing new users and motivating existing users to quit tobacco. The current PHW printed on smoking products is picture of a throat cancer and on smokeless tobacco products is cancer of oral cavity and this should cover 85% of the outer panel of the tobacco products. Text message as "Smoking causes cancer, Smoking kills" also printed on the packs. The present study aimed at understanding the impact of 85% PHW on motivating tobacco users to quit.

Methods:
Tobacco users (n=99) were chosen by convenient sampling from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. One cigarette packet and one chewing tobacco packet printed with 85% PHW was shown to them and interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. The questions included were, their current tobacco use, comprehension of text and PHWs printed on tobacco products and its ability to motivate the users to quit.

Results:
Majority of the tobacco users (84.8%) noticed the health warnings on tobacco products (PHW-13.1%, Text warning-14.1%, Both-57.5%). Overall 67.6% tobacco users(Smoking-46.4%, smokeless-21.2%) were able to identify the picture correctly and 55.5% related the picture to health problems. A few users (8%) couldn't read the text warning since it was printed in English. The understanding is better if they could read the text warning also. The 52.5% of the users reported that the PHW made them to think about quitting and 72.7% reported that PHW will motivate the users to quit. The users (38.3%) reported total ban as the best measure for tobacco control.

Conclusions:
The 85% PHW has positive impact in motivating the tobacco users to quit. However, printing the text warning in regional language will be effective for the people who cannot read English.

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