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Do Threatening Messages Change Intentions to Give Up Tobacco Smoking? The Role of Argument Framing and Pictures of a Healthy Mouth Versus an Unhealthy Mouth


  • The authors thank Peter Harris for his careful reading of the manuscript.

Jean-François Verlhiac, Department of Psychology, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense, 200 av. de l République, 92001 Nanterre, France. E-mail:


Do preventive-behavior framing and outcomes of action framing moderate behavioral intention to stop smoking when health messages are illustrated by pictures? We manipulated arguments about preventive action (presence or absence), as well as arguments about the outcome of action (gain or loss), and the pictures that illustrated outcome action (healthy or unhealthy mouths). Behavioral intention was higher when pictures of unhealthy mouths were presented, regardless of framing, and when pictures of healthy mouths illustrated the presence of preventive action. Applications of this study on tobacco risk health campaigns based on text and pictures are discussed.