A systematic review of smoker and non-smoker perceptions of visually unappealing cigarette sticks

Drovandi, Aaron, Teague, Peta-ann, Glass, Beverley, and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi (2018) A systematic review of smoker and non-smoker perceptions of visually unappealing cigarette sticks. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 16 (2).

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Introduction: Cigarette stick appearance can significantly contribute to perceptions of cigarette taste, harm, and appeal, and may be modified to reduce positive perceptions of cigarettes and other tobacco products. A systematic review was conducted to investigate how smokers and non-smokers identify cigarettes as being attractive or unattractive, and the resulting perceptions of cigarette appeal, perceived harm, and impact on quitting intentions.

Methods: Eligible articles were identified using database searches conducted with a date range of January 1990 to May 2017 in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Google Scholar and Web of Science. Articles were included if they evaluated the perceptions of participants of any smoking status towards visual cigarette stick attributes. We identified studies describing visual attributes of cigarette sticks and the resulting perceptions of participants. Changes or differences in quitting intentions, cigarette appeal, perceptions of taste, and cigarette harm, and the likelihood of smoking uptake were recorded. Data were grouped into two main categories; those of physical cigarette design, and those including health messages on cigarette sticks.

Results: Of the 950 identified non-duplicated records, nine matched the eligibility criteria. These studies were all conducted in developed countries, and largely enrolled adolescent and young adult smokers and non-smokers. Slim, lighter coloured, and branded cigarettes were favoured over longer, broader, or darker coloured cigarettes, and those without any branding or embellishments. Health warnings including ‘Minutes of life lost’, ‘Smoking kills’, and the names of carcinogenic constituents in cigarettes reduced cigarette attractiveness, and increased participant quitting intentions.

Conclusion: Cigarette appeal and resulting smoking behaviours can be influenced by several visual attributes of individual cigarettes. Unappealing visual attributes of cigarette sticks, including modifications to the size and colour of cigarettes, and the inclusion of health warnings on cigarette sticks may serve as an effective tobacco control method, potentially leading to a reduction in tobacco use.

Item ID: 52306
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1617-9625
Keywords: public health, social medicine, smoking appeal, cigarette attributes
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Funders: James Cook University, Australian Government Research Training Scholarship
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 01:47
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 100%
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