Visual attention to health warnings on plain tobacco packaging in adolescent smokers and non-smokers
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 108, Issue 2, pages 413–419, February 2013
How to Cite
Maynard, O. M., Munafò, M. R. and Leonards, U. (2013), Visual attention to health warnings on plain tobacco packaging in adolescent smokers and non-smokers. Addiction, 108: 413–419. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.04028.x
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 8 AUG 2012 03:28AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 16 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 APR 2012
- health warnings;
- plain packaging;
- visual attention
Previous research with adults indicates that plain packaging increases visual attention to health warnings in adult non-smokers and weekly smokers, but not daily smokers. The present research extends this study to adolescents aged 14–19 years.
Mixed-model experimental design, with smoking status as a between-subjects factor and pack type (branded or plain pack) and eye gaze location (health warning or branding) as within-subjects factors.
Three secondary schools in Bristol, UK.
A convenience sample of adolescents comprising never-smokers (n = 26), experimenters (n = 34), weekly smokers (n = 13) and daily smokers (n = 14).
Number of eye movements to health warnings and branding on plain and branded packs.
Analysis of variance, irrespective of smoking status revealed more eye movements to health warnings than branding on plain packs, but an equal number of eye movements to both regions on branded packs (P = 0.033). This was observed among experimenters (P < 0.001) and weekly smokers (P = 0.047), but not among never-smokers or daily smokers.
Among experimenters and weekly smokers, plain packaging increases visual attention to health warnings and away from branding. Daily smokers, even relatively early in their smoking careers, seem to avoid the health warnings on cigarette packs. Adolescent never-smokers attend the health warnings preferentially on both types of packs, a finding which may reflect their decision not to smoke.