Turkish Thoracic Journal
Original Article

Perceptions of Students of a Medical School on Combined Health Warnings in Plain Packs


Department of Public Health, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar University, Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Gayrettepe Florence Nightingale Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey

Turk Thorac J 2021; 22: 407-412
DOI: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2021.0311
Read: 72 Downloads: 35 Published: 30 September 2021

OBJECTIVE: Turkey has recently adopted the regulation of plain and standard packaging for tobacco products and introduced newly designed combined health warnings. In this study, we aimed to reveal how the new combined health warnings are perceived among medical students.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was descriptive and the data were collected by a 3-part questionnaire. The first part covered demographic characteristics, the second part was designed to measure the saliency of the combined health warnings, and the third part evaluated their effect on the motivation to quit.

RESULTS: Out of 484 students of medicine, 287 (59%) were included in the study; 54.4% of the participants were female and 45.6% were male; and the average age was 21.18 ± 1.94 years. There were 79 (27.5%) smokers and the mean duration of smoking was 39.07 ± 24.07 months. The combined health warning that reads “Smoking causes laryngeal cancer” had the highest score both in terms of saliency and motivation to quit smoking. The one that reads “Protect children: don't let them inhale your smoke” had the lowest score in both categories. Non-smokers found the stimuli more effective than smokers and quitters (P > .05).

CONCLUSION: The findings point out that smoking rate is unexpectedly high among participants, and medical students perceived the warnings emphasizing the physical deformities caused by tobacco products on individuals as more effective than combined health warnings aimed at protecting “others.” This study suggests that the combined health warnings should be selected in a more nuanced way for different target groups.

Cite this article as: Yasin Y, Aykac N. Perceptions of students of a medical school on combined health warnings in plain packs. Turk Thorac J. 2021; 22(5): 407-412.

EISSN 2149-2530