Young adult smokers’ experience with health warnings on cigarette packs: a phenomenological study


health warnings
young adults
cigarette packs

How to Cite

Mahmoud H. Young adult smokers’ experience with health warnings on cigarette packs: a phenomenological study. mir [Internet]. 6Sep.2020 [cited 1Dec.2021];29(114):44-5. Available from:


After replacement of health warnings on cigarettes packs with new ones, different in size, format, and content, this study aims to explore young adult British smokers experience regrading exposure to the UK health warnings on cigarette packs used from October 2008 to 2017. Qualitative phenomenological oriented semi-structured interviews were conducted with sixteen British young adult smokers to find out some effectiveness aspects of health warnings. Questions included which warnings could smokers remember and recall of these warnings? What did they feel when exposed to those health warnings? What was their reaction to them and the impact - if any- of these health warnings on their smoking behaviour? The results show that the most remembered health warnings were those with photos which focused on health themes and the most threatening warnings. Themes like children and death were less remembered, and no one remembered quitting warnings at all. Many smokers remembering that some warnings evoked negative emotions like fear, disgust and guilt, most of them affected emotionally, and some of them experienced short-term thinking about stopping when they focused on some health warnings. However, smokers’ answers show that those health warnings had only a short-term or brief impact when smokers paid intention to some of them. However, they were not effective enough to show behaviour changes like an intention to smoke less or stop. Health warnings must be of short durations or developing new health warnings occasionally may reduce overexposure effect on smokers.