The Canadian labels led to a 2.9 to 4.7 percentage point drop in smoking rates — which would mean 5.3 to 8.6 million fewer smokers in the U.S. if the same result were obtained. The findings are published online in the journal Tobacco Control.
The researchers used statistical methods to compare smoking rates in the U.S. and Canada for a nine-year period before and after the graphic warning labels were introduced in Canada. The price of cigarettes were factored into the analyses.
The study found the “regulatory impact analysis” used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to gauge the effectiveness of Canada’s graphic warning labels to be inaccurate. The FDA had estimated only a 0.088 percentage point reduction in smoking rates after graphic warning labels were mandated in Canada.
Jidong Huang, research specialist at UIC’s Institute for Health Research and Policy and lead author of the new study, said when he and his collaborators corrected the FDA’s methodological flaws and took into account the purchase prices paid by smokers, they found that graphic warning labels reduce cigarette-smoking prevalence at much higher rates.
Graphic warning labels on cigarette packages have been implemented in more than 40 countries, but not in the U.S.
In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products, including requiring prominent warning labels for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. However, the tobacco industry challenged the FDA’s requirement for graphic warning labels, and a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the federal agency lacked evidence that graphic warning images would reduce the number of Americans who smoke. Studies had shown that such labels increase knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco products, motivate smokers to attempt quitting, and decrease relapse rates among smokers who have quit, but not whether they reduce overall smoking rates.
The UIC and University of Waterloo researchers hope the new study will provide support for a revised FDA proposal to require graphic warnings.
The FDA should “adopt a standard methodology in doing their regulatory impact analysis that is statistically sound and validated by social scientists,” said Huang. The “very rudimentary analysis” methods currently used by the FDA will cause problems in future proposals and regulations for new and emerging tobacco products, he said.
Geoffrey Fong, professor of psychology at the University of Waterloo, said the new study “adds to the strong and growing number of studies showing the powerful positive impact of graphic warnings on reducing smoking rates.”
Fong and Frank Chaloupka, distinguished professor of economics and director of the Health Policy Center at UIC’s Institute for Health Research and Policy, are co-investigators.
Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences
14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences
14.11.2018 | Medical Engineering