Experimental Test of the Educational Impact of the Newly Proposed FDA Graphic Cigarette Warnings among U.S. Adults

Renee E. Magnan, W. Kyle Hamilton, Bethany Shorey-Fennell, Linda D. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: In August 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a set of 13 new graphic warnings for cigarette packaging and advertisements. Purpose: We evaluated these warnings relative to text-only equivalents for their ability to educate the public regarding harms of smoking and influence outcomes associated with quitting. Methods: In an experimental within-subjects design, U.S. adult nonsmokers, smokers, and dual smoker/electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) users (N = 412) recruited from an online internet platform evaluated the newly proposed graphic warnings and corresponding text-only warnings on understandability, perceived new knowledge, worry elicited about the content of the warning, discouragement from smoking, and encouragement to use e-cigarettes. Results: Graphic warnings were generally rated as providing better understanding, more new knowledge, eliciting more worry about harms of smoking, and providing more discouragement from smoking relative to text-only warnings. Conclusions: The newly proposed graphic warnings could influence important responses to warnings associated with motivation to reduce smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society of Behavioral Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Cigarette packaging
  • E-cigarettes
  • Graphic warning labels
  • Tobacco regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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