Monitor on Psychology - December 2011 - (Page 54)

New labels, new attitudes? Research shows that graphic cigarette warning labels lodge themselves in people’s minds. But do they really help smokers quit? By lE a W I nE rman • Monitor staff .S. smokers have had nearly three decades to get used to the small health warnings on the side of their cigarette packages. But they may be in for a shock in the future. In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved nine new cigarette warning labels, and the big, bold new messages don’t pull any punches. The warnings cover half the package and feature pictures of smokers’ ravaged bodies: a diseased lung, a tracheotomy hole and a corpse with its chest sewn up. Cigarette makers have challenged the legality of the new warnings, and in November won the first round of litigation, when a U.S. District Court judge blocked the new labels. But around the world, the type of subtle labels that U.S. cigarette packs now display are on their way out. As researchers have continued to uncover more information about the harms of smoking and of secondhand smoke, governments have been moving to require larger, more graphic and scarier labels. 54 U Canada was the first country to introduce large graphic warnings in 2001. In 2003, the World Health Organization passed its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which, among other measures, urged countries to mandate warnings that covered at least 30 percent to 50 percent of packages. Since then, Australia, Brazil, Thailand and dozens of other countries have switched to large graphic warnings. Now, psychologists and other researchers are plumbing a decade’s worth of data to try to understand what effect these new labels have had. They’re finding evidence that the graphic labels do grab smokers’ attention and can change self-reported attitudes toward smoking — including upping smokers’ desire to quit. Geoffrey Fong, PhD, director of the health psychology lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada, heads the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, a decade-long study that has followed smokers in more than 20 countries to track Monitor on psychology • DeceMber 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - December 2011

Monitor on Psychology - December 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Willpower Pioneer Wins $100,000 Grawemeyer Prize
Single-Sex Schooling Called Into Question by Prominent Researchers
Maternal Depression Stunts Childhood Growth, Research Suggests
For Boys, Sharing May Seem Like a Waste of Time
Good News for Postdoc Applicants
In Brief
Treatment Guideline Development Now Under Way
Government Relations Update
Psychologist Named Va Mental Health Chief
The Limits of Eyewitness Testimony
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Time Capsule
Deconstructing Suicide
A Focus on Interdisciplinarity
A Time of ‘Enormous Change’
The Science Behind Team Science
Good Science Requires Good Conflict
A New Paradigm of Care
Speaking of Education
Science Directions
New Labels, New Attitudes?
Psychologist Profile
Early Career Psychology
Unintended Consequences
Better Options for Troubled Teens
Saving Lives, One Organ at a Time
New Journal Editors
APA News
Division Spotlight
Guidelines for the Conduct of President-Elect Nominations and Elections
American Psychological Foundation

Monitor on Psychology - December 2011