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Just 18% Think Graphic Warning Labels Will Reduce Smoking

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now requiring tobacco companies to attach gruesome warning labels to cigarette packs, but few Americans believe the labels will actually cut the number of smokers. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 18% of American Adults think the new warnings will reduce the number of people who smoke.  Fifty-eight percent (58%) disagree and think the labels will not be effective. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Last November when the labels were first under discussion, 25% thought they would discourage smoking, but 51% did not. 

After all, 88% of adults believe those who smoke cigarettes are already aware of the health dangers. Only eight percent (8%) don't think that's true. These findings haven't changed in surveys for over four years. Among those who currently smoke, even more (92%) say smokers are already aware of the dangers.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of all Americans believe raising the price of cigarettes will decrease the number of smokers more than the graphic ads will. That's down nine points from November.  Twenty-two percent (22%) think the warning labels will be more effective. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on June 21-22, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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