Study on print media behavior at the time of implementing pictorial health warnings in Sri Lanka
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Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC), Library & Information, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A746
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In 2012, Sri Lankan government announced the enforcement of Pictorial Health Warnings (PHWs) covering 80% of the cigarette packet. Subsequently the court reduced it to 60%, after an interim order sought by the industry. In 2015, new legislation was enforced to cover 80% of cigarette packet by PHWs. The tobacco industry showed its manipulation against PHWs through media. It was important to study the behavior of median order to investigate and ensure the enforcement of PHWs.

Newspaper articles analysis was the method which used in this study. Four daily newspapers and 6 weekly newspapers were selected for the study based on the popularity. Analysis conducted during January 2013 to June 2014 by using 2376 Newspapers. articles, cartoons, poems and stories related PHWs were considered and categorized according to the influence on readers in the analysis to measure the degree of acceptance for PHWs. In addition the study focused on Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) responses on PHWs. At the end a report was shared with media, politicians, policy makers and other responsible personnel to create a discussion.

The study helped to identify whether the behaviors of politicians, policy makers, journalists and other related officials who are accountable for enacting PHWs are negative or positive. There were articles which had negative perception on PHWs and those were indirectly related with CTC. This analysis proved that the supportive and encouraging articles related to PHWs were higher than the opposed ones.

This study proves that the majority of the community accepts the FCTC recommendation of implementing PHWs to create a healthy community for the development of the country. It also shows that the CTC uses shrewd methods on authoritative people and institutes who have the decision making powers related to law enforcement, for its advancement.