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Warnings on Cigarettes Could Deter Smokers

Update Date: Dec 23, 2013 12:23 PM EST

Smoking has been tied to increasing one's risk of lung cancer and other health issues. Due to the dangers of smoking, government agencies and organizations have attempted to find multiple ways of preventing people from starting and getting people to quit. In a new study, researchers found that placing warning labels on individual cigarettes could help smokers quit.

Researchers from Bangor University set out to examine the effects of using warning labels directly on cigarettes. Lead researcher, Dr. Louise Hassan from the University's business school enlisted 200 smokers to participate in their study. The smokers, who were from Scotland and Greece, were shown cigarettes that had varying warning labels. For example, one of the warning labels stated that with each puff, the smoker was shortening his/her lifeline by 11 minutes. Another type of cigarette contained a list of dangerous chemicals and toxins, such as arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde, used in making cigarettes.

The researchers found that current smokers were 16 percent more likely to quit if they saw these warning labels. The researchers believe that the government should consider using these types of warning labels in order to encourage smokers to quit. Hassan stated that she now plans on lobbying the government's expert, Sir Cyril Chantler to get them to consider using these types of warning. Aside from these warning labels, other types of initiatives designed to get people to stop smoking include making cigarette packaging less appealing, using boring colors and using warning labels on the overall packaging.

"The evidence shows children are attracted to glitzy, slickly-designed cigarettes and packs and every year more than 207,000 UK children between 11 and 15 start smoking," Cancer Research UK chief executive, Dr. Harpal Kumar stated according to Daily Mail. "We are urging the government to introduce standardized packaging to discourage these children from starting this life-threatening habit and to prioritize children's health over tobacco company profits."

The study was published in Tobacco Control.

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