policymakers, particularly members of parliaments on health warnings, including pictorial health warnings; 2) to understand the community’s perception on current health warning and their opinion on the preferable types of health warnings; 3) to test the effectiveness of text and pictorial of the effect of harmfulness of tobacco use and their acceptability among the public; and 4) To explore the most preferable and effective pictograph health warnings.
The research was conducted in Vientiane Capital City, Lao PDR and was focused on 3 different studies such as i) survey of policy-makers; ii) survey of smokers and non-smokers, iii) evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of text and pictorial health warnings.
The study revealed that the current health warning messages were not appropriate, ineffective, too small in size, lack its prominence and not noticeable. The respondents expressed a desire for larger, more effective health messages that addressed issues of relevance to them but which were not currently designed hidden in the side pack and not partly thoroughly “washed-out”. Thus, the smokers did not pay any attention to the current health warnings. The pictorial warnings are more likely to have impact, attractive, confrontational the smokers and difficult to ignore. The study showed that pictorial health warnings have more impact on knowledge of the risk of smoking, and on quitting and help to convey potential health effects of smoking and to do so more effectively through pictures than words; to raise fear appeal and social appeal among smokers and to increase their awareness and to attract them. The pictorial health warning is a powerful element added to the messages; they can communicate quickly, and dramatic. The majority of policymakers and respondents strongly supported the implementation of pictorial health warnings. A number of recommendations are made.
The Collaborative Funding Program forSoutheast Asia Tobacco Control Research, 65 pp.