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Effect of disgusting photos: warning pictures prevent adolescents from smoking
Decreasing cigarette consumption among adolescents in Germany has been reported in recent years. Apparently, the warning pictures, which have been printed on cigarette boxes since 2016, also help more teenagers to stay away from the glowing sticks.
Smoking is dangerous for your health
Smoking is one of the greatest health risks that everyone can influence. For some years now, cigarette packs with warnings and photos have been used to warn people of the health risks associated with tobacco use. But how successful are the shock pictures? An investigation by US scientists concluded that such warning images do not prevent smoking. For young people in Germany this is obviously not true. Because, according to a DAK health report, they are deterred by the photos of cigarette consumption.
Shock pictures scare young people away
Cancer, smoker's lung, foot amputation: Shock pictures like this have an effect on cigarette packs. Disgusting photos intensify negative attitudes towards smoking, especially among young non-smokers.
This is shown by a current study by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit. Over 400 school classes and a total of around 7,000 students in classes five to ten took part in the DAK prevention radar.
The study was carried out by the Kiel Institute for Therapy and Health Research (IFT-Nord).
"Our study shows that the warnings trigger negative emotions to a considerable extent, whereby adolescents who have never smoked reacted more emotionally than adolescents who smoke," explains Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit.
"So the photos can have a preventive effect because they reinforce negative attitudes among young people about cigarette smoking."
Nationwide, a total of 44 schools participated in the study. The results are clear: Above all adolescents who had never smoked reacted significantly more emotionally than their smoking classmates.
In particular, the warning about lung cancer caused disgust and fear among the teenagers.
Every seventh dies from the consequences of smoking
Fewer people smoke today than a few years ago. But recent studies have shown that one in four in Germany takes a cigarette. Around every seventh death is still due to the consequences of smoking.
E-cigarettes or shishas are often replacing traditional cigarettes today - and seem to be particularly attractive to many young people.
The shock photos on cigarette boxes show possible health damage from smoking, such as rotten teeth, cancerous growths or smoking lungs.
Since the introduction of the EU Tobacco Directive in May 2016, a large part of the packaging area in Germany must also be reserved for the pictures and suitable texts.
In many countries, however, the warning notices were established earlier. Britain goes one step further. There, cigarettes have to be packed in a dark box; Brand logos are not allowed. (ad)