Figure 6.4.1: 'Throat cancer' health warning


C. Cigar smoking causes throat cancer
Figure C: Image of man with throat cancer, with text warning (see below for text).

Text warning from Figure 6.4.1:
Cigar smoking causes cancer of the throat and voice box (larynx). Treatment can include surgery that leaves you struggling with problems breathing, eating, speaking and coping with life.
Thinking of quitting? Call Quitline 137848, talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or visit Quit Now

The reactions of premium cigar smokers were somewhat mixed in regards to the credibility of the throat cancer warnings. Some felt that they could more easily ignore the message as they do not feel they inhale the smoke. However, given the close proximity of the throat to the mouth there is some latent acceptance that this could be a health consequence. Additionally, as the typical premium cigar smoker is of an older age group, they are more likely to have seen or known someone that has had the procedure pictured, thereby making it a credible consequence of tobacco smoking (regardless of product). The image being of a older man, which is the associated demographic of premium cigar smoking, contributes to the image being relevant.

Cigarillo / little cigar smokers were more likely to accept the credibility and relevance of the health warning. This was mainly due to the greater likelihood of cigarillo / little cigar smokers to inhale. However, it was also due to the image being of an older man, which they also associated as being the demographic more likely to smoke premium cigars and cigarillos / little cigars. This was consistent regardless of the age or gender of the cigarillo / little cigar smoker.

The copy is particularly impactful. The possibility of struggling to be able to do simple acts such as breathing and eating is a fate most would like to avoid. The addition of the words ‘coping with life’ exacerbate the thought of having to live suffering for a long time.

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