Plain packaging increases visual attention to health warnings on cigarette packs in non-smokers and weekly smokers but not daily smokers

M R Munafo, N Roberts, Linda Bauld, U Leonards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

85 Citations (Scopus)


Aims To assess the impact of plain packaging on visual attention towards health warning information on cigarette packs. Design Mixed-model experimental design, comprising smoking status as a between-subjects factor, and package type (branded versus plain) as a within-subjects factor. Setting University laboratory. Participants Convenience sample of young adults, comprising non-smokers (n = 15), weekly smokers (n = 14) and daily smokers (n = 14). Measurements Number of saccades (eye movements) towards health warnings on cigarette packs, to directly index visual attention. Findings Analysis of variance indicated more eye movements (i.e. greater visual attention) towards health warnings compared to brand information on plain packs versus branded packs. This effect was observed among non-smokers and weekly smokers, but not daily smokers. Conclusion Among non-smokers and non-daily cigarette smokers, plain packaging appears to increase visual attention towards health warning information and away from brand information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1505-1510
Number of pages6
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011



  • health warnings
  • plain packaging
  • tobacco
  • eye tracking
  • visual attention

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