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Sex Differences in Graphic Warning Label Ratings by Addictions Clients.

  • Author(s): Campbell, Barbara K;
  • Le, Thao;
  • Yip, Deborah;
  • Griffin, Kayla B;
  • Gubner, Noah R;
  • Guydish, Joseph R
  • et al.


Research on sex differences in responses to cigarette graphic warning labels (GWLs) has been limited despite tobacco-related, health disparities for women. We examined whether women had stronger responses to certain labels than to others, whether this pattern differed from men's, and whether there were overall sex ratings differences.


Smokers (N = 881) in 24, addictions treatment programs rated 3 of 9 Food and Drug Administration-developed labels on credibility, message reactance, quit motivation, and negative emotions. Participants rated one label depicting a woman and/or baby, and 2 depicting tobacco-related disease or male images.


Women's (n = 432) ratings of labels depicting women/babies versus other labels did not differ from men's (n = 449) ratings. Women had higher ratings than men across all labels combined on credibility (p < .001), quit motivation (p = .007), and negative emotions (p < .001). Individual labels were analyzed for sex differences. Women's ratings were higher on credibility for 3 of 9 labels, and on negative emotions for 7 of 9 labels.


Female smokers in addictions treatment had generally stronger responses to GWLs than men, supporting GWL implementation in the United States to help close the sex gap in smoking cessation.

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