Images of snuff packages do not generate sufficient impact on smokers

Scientific Research Group Clinical Neurodynamics and Psychology Department of Psychology at the University of the Balearic Islands and the University of Granada have studied the impact of the images in European campaigns for the prevention of consumption in snuff packages. Research indicates that the images used are not powerful enough to persuade smokers.

The study found that some of the images used are come to look nice for the people tested who have participated in the investigation. Therefore, the researchers suggest that European anti-smoking campaigns could be more effective if they replaced those images that are evaluated as pleasant and those that are poorly activating other to cause a greater impact. They also point to take into consideration the impact that each image may have on different population groups by age, gender or the habit of snuff consumption.

European public institutions have developed in recent decades various legislative initiatives aimed at curbing the use of snuff among citizens, among which is the introduction of messages that warn of the risks associated with smoking in packages of snuff. For years the presence of phrases such as "smoking seriously damages health" in the packages has been a constant, although different studies have warned that the text ads were inadequate to capture the attention of smokers when reading them and process messages. As a result, some countries have opted for a new style of graphic warning labels is the use of images and phrases associated with explaining the consequences of smoking on health.

In this vein, the European Commission in 2003 developed a series of images showing warning the negative impact of snuff through photographs they wanted to be visually stunning and recommended its use in the Member States of the European Union. For now, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Romania and have been introduced, while others, like Spain, are expected to do so soon.

The consumption of snuff has been associated with a large number of diseases and a high morbidity, to the extent that it has become the leading cause of preventable death. About 650,000 people die prematurely each year in the European Union for reasons related to snuff. It is estimated that 25 percent of cancer deaths and 15 percent of all deaths in the EU countries can be attributed to snuff, and more than 13 million people suffer from chronic diseases caused by smoking smoking.

The authors are Miguel Angel Munoz, research staff of Juan de la Cierva program of the UIB, Pedro Montoya, Professor of Psychobiology of the UIB, and researchers and Naomi Sanchez Francisca Rossello-Nácher, all of the Neurodynamics Research Group and Clinical Psychology UIB, Jaime Vila Castellar addition, Professor of Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment, University of Granada, and Professor of this university of Jesus Maria Isabel Viedma, Department of Marketing and Market Research .

Emotional impact

The study examines the emotional impact of the images used in the European campaign steps using psychometric Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) and the Standard Catalog of Images International Affective Picture System (IAPS). In addition, it has also investigated how gender and what age groups most affected by the images of the campaign and how they are affected by consumption habits snuff.

The experiment included the participation of 597 people, 369 women and 228 men, aged between 13 and 44 years, among whom were non-smokers, experimental smokers, occasional smokers and regular smokers. The volunteers were subjected to viewing 120 images among which were the 35 images of the European campaign against snuff, and used the SAM to measure steps psychometric subjective emotional responses.

This analysis identified the degree of effectiveness of each image according to the objectives of the European anti-smoking campaign as the images were, first, pleasant or unpleasant, and on the other, activating or not activating, ie, to induce individuals to act.

Avoidance behavior

The results indicate that while most of the images (29) used in the European campaign against snuff were evaluated as neutral or unpleasant and aroused a moderate level of activation, some of these pictures (6) were evaluated as positive with a trigger means. This means that the latter group of images may be less effective in achieving the goals set by the European anti-smoking campaign as a rejection not cause enough to snuff. This would result in the absence of activation to perform avoidance behavior. These results were confirmed in each gender group, age and smoking status.

Regarding gender differences, the images of the campaign were assessed as moderately unpleasant for both groups. The women rated the photographs of the campaign as more arousing than the group of men, which would indicate that this campaign would be more effective among women than among men. For different age groups, all groups agreed to evaluate the images as moderately unpleasant, with an average level of activation, the younger participants of the experiment, between 13 and 17 years assessed as less arousing pictures than older participants. This suggests that the campaign would have less effect on this age group.

In relation to snuff consumption habits, participants were divided between those who have never smoked, experimental smokers, occasional smokers and daily smokers. The investigation determined the existence of differences between occasional smokers and other groups. Occasional smokers assessed the campaign as more activating than the other groups. Similarly, there were also differences between those who had never smoked and the other groups. Those who had never smoked and daily smokers evaluated six images as pleasant, evaluated seven experimental smokers and occasional smokers, eight.

Source: University of the Balearic Islands