Summary of reactions to health warnings

Eight graphic health warnings were shown to premium cigar and cigarillo / little cigar smokers. The warning statements and image of each is shown below.

Graphic health warnings tested with premium cigar and cigarillo / little cigar smokers

A. Cigar smoking increases your risk of heart disease
Image A: Image of healthy heart beside damaged heart.

B. Cigar smoking is not a safe alternative
Image B. Image of foot with toe tag.

C. Cigar smoking causes throat cancer
Image C: Image of throat cancer sufferer.

E. Cigar smoking causes mouth cancer
Image E: Image of mouth and tongue with tongue cancer.

F. Cigar smoking damages your teeth and gums
Image F: Image of damaged teeth and gums.

G. Don't let others breathe cigar smoke
Image G: Image of child wiht breathing apparatus.

D/H. Cigar smoking causes lung cancer
Image D/H: Image of man in hospital bed beside image of healthy/damaged lungs.
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A summary of the impact of each of the health warnings on both premium cigar and cigarillo / little cigar smokers is shown below.

Table 1: Summary of the impact of health warnings on premium cigar and cigarillo / little cigar smokers
Health WarningsPremium CigarCigarillo
A: Heart diseaseYesNoYesYesYesYes
B: Not a safe alternativeNo /YesYesYesYesYesYes
C: Throat cancer?YesYesYesYesYes
D: Lung cancer (lung image)NoNoYes??Yes
E: Mouth cancerYesYesYesYesYesYes
F: OthersYesNoYesYesNoYes
G: Teeth and gumsYesYesYesYesYesYes
H: Lung cancer (man image)NoNoYes??Yes

As shown above, three of the health warnings are perceived as relevant, credible and understandable for both premium cigar and cigarillo / little cigar smokers. All elements of the three messages, including warning message, image and explanatory message (copy), are credible and relevant in current format and do not need to be refined further prior to use. These are:
  • ‘throat cancer’;
  • ‘mouth cancer’; and
  • ‘damage to teeth and gums’.

Two further messages may be effective for use with cigarillo / little cigar smokers after some refinement.These are:
  • ‘heart disease’ - with revised copy if it is also to be used on single sale premium cigars; and
  • ‘not a safe alternative’ - with revised image and copy.

Premium cigar smokers are less likely to find these messages relevant, although they will accept these as credible. They could be used with premium cigar products but will not have the same impact as the three others.

If necessary, and following revisions to both copy and image, ‘lung cancer’ could be used on cigarillo / little cigar packs.

Given that premium cigar smokers do not consciously inhale it will be difficult to ensure the credibility of this message for this audience. However, those cigarillo / little cigar smokers who do consciously inhale will benefit from this message.

Each of the warnings tested and reactions of both cigar and cigarillo / little cigar smokers are discussed below.
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