Having pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages may reduce the sharing and gifting of cigarettes in China, according to a new study published in Tobacco Control.
Sharing and gifting cigarettes are common in China. These social practices promote cigarette consumption, and consequently may reduce quit rates in China. This study investigated sharing and gifting cigarettes, and the relationship of observing pictorial health warnings to attitudes towards sharing and gifting cigarettes in China.
The researchers conducted an online nationwide cross-sectional study of 9,818 adults in China. They assessed experiences of sharing and gifting cigarettes, and attitudes towards sharing and gifting cigarettes before and after viewing text and pictorial health warnings on the packages.
Most current smokers reported experiences of sharing (97 percent) and gifting (around 90 percent) cigarettes. Less than half of nonsmokers reported sharing cigarettes and receiving gifted cigarettes, but more than half (61.4 percent) gave cigarettes as a gift to others. More than half of non-smokers but less than 10 percent of smokers disagreed with sharing and gifting cigarettes.
After observing both text and pictorial health warnings on the packages, disagreement with sharing and gifting cigarettes increased by more than 10 percentage points among both smokers and nonsmokers.