Background, objectives and methodology

The National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health has set the aim of reducing the proportion of Australians who smoke daily to 10% by 2018. Graphic health warnings on tobacco product packaging are an important tool in the battle to reduce the health burden associated with smoking. The warnings, messages and images are intended to:
  • increase consumer knowledge of the health effects of smoking;
  • encourage smokers to give up; and
  • discourage uptake or relapse.

Three stages of market research have previously been completed to inform the suite of new graphic health warnings for manufactured cigarettes. That research tested all aspects of the new graphic health warnings including the warning statements (headlines), images, explanatory messages and side of pack information messages to determine the most effective elements.

This report is on research conducted for graphic health warnings on tobacco products other than cigarettes, specifically cigars, cigarillos / little cigars, tins of roll your own tobacco, and bidis. There were four main components of the research for the graphic health warnings:
  • to understand consumer perception / reactions to 5-10 new or revised graphic health warnings for pack of cigars;
  • to investigate the impact and understandability of graphic health warnings on small types of cigar packaging including when health warning elements are split across different faces of the pack;
  • to investigate the impact and understandability of graphic health warnings on small types of roll your own tobacco tins including when health warning elements are split across different faces of the pack; and
  • to identify the impact and understandability of placing graphic health warnings on small packs of bidis.

The research involved a qualitative methodology comprising 5 group discussions with smokers of cigarillos /little cigars (including male and female smokers), 2 group discussions with smokers of roll your own tobacco (including male and female smokers), and 8 in-depth interviews with male smokers of premium cigars. The research was conducted in metropolitan areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. Each group discussion was one and a half hours in length, and consisted of 4-8 respondents. Each in-depth interview was conducted face-to-face and was of 40-50 minutes duration. All research was conducted between 27 July 2011 and 1 August 2011.1


1 The research for Market Testing of New Health Warnings and Information Messages for Tobacco Product Packaging was conducted concurrently with research for Market Research to Determine Impact of Plain Packaging on other Tobacco Products using the same sample. Different exercises and areas of discussion were used for each research area and were reported on separately. As a result, not all questions in the research instruments are reported in this document.


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