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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Graphic Labels Could Reduce Smoking among American Indian/Alaska Natives

Graphic cigarette labels increased the likelihood of American Indian/Alaska Natives talking about smoking risks and could be effective at reducing smoking rates in those communities, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

New faculty and doctoral student portraits for the George Warren Brown School of Social Work Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 at Washington University in St. Louis. (Photo © Whitney Curtis)
[Photo: Photo: Dr. David A. Patterson Silver Wolf]

The 36 percent rate of smoking in AI/AN communities is twice the national average, and is the leading cause of preventable death in those communities.

Researchers analyzed results from surveys of 220 AI/AN smokers, at-risk smokers and non-smokers who viewed graphic labels that contained images of physical harm as part of a larger study. Participants said they were more likely to talk to friends and family who smoke, conversations that can result in attempts to quit.

“This study’s findings suggest that graphic warning labels have the potential to effect change in the smoking habits of AI/AN communities by harnessing the power and influence of peers and family members,” wrote the study’s first author, Dr. David A. Patterson Silver Wolf, associate professor at the Brown School.

The study, the first to explore the impact of labels on members of AI/AN communities, was published March 23 in The BMJ.

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