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dc.contributor.advisorHoek, Janet
dc.contributor.advisorRobertson, Kirsten
dc.contributor.authorDavidson, Jessica Wray
dc.identifier.citationDavidson, J. W. (2013). Young Adults’ Responses to Tobacco Pictorial Warning Labels within a Symbolic Consumption Framework (Thesis, Master of Commerce). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractPictorial warning labels (PWLs) displayed on tobacco packaging are a critical smokefree intervention that help to reduce the global smoking epidemic. PWLs are effective within the general population at increasing awareness of smoking-related risks, deterring smoking initiation and encouraging smoking cessation. However, emerging evidence suggested that health-related PWLs, which are primarily used across jurisdictions requiring their use, may have less effect on young adult smokers. Given the high smoking prevalence rates of young adults, it was imperative to explore varying PWL messages that may more effectively target this age group. The current study addressed this research gap through employing qualitative in-depth interviews of young adults to explore their smoking behaviours and responses to varying PWL message types. This study extended past research by exploring an array of different PWLs that as identified by international research required further testing to determine their effect on young adult smokers. Further, this is one of the first studies to explore young adults’ responses to PWLs within a symbolic consumption framework. Given that this framework provided detailed insight into participants’ responses to PWLs, it may provide an effective framework for future studies to further examine PWL effectiveness for specific smoker sub-groups. The results suggested that participants began smoking for the intangible benefits they perceived they would gain from smoking, which often overrode concurrent immediate negative consequences. During periods of life transitions particularly, transitioning from school to university, participants relied on the intangible benefits of smoking to facilitate these, and which often marked their progression to regular smoking. In addition, young adults perceived PWLs that conveyed relevant, timely and salient risks including negative external physical and social risks as the most effective at encouraging cessation and deterring initiation. Participants’ ability to rationalise and diminish smoking-related risks appear to influence the effect of PWLs, which varied according to smoking status. Overall, a potentially effective strategy to target young adult smokers is to employ PWLs that display risks that are temporally relevant and that undermine the positive associations young adults attribute to smoking.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectwarning labels
dc.subjectyoung adult smoking
dc.subjectyoung adults
dc.subjecttobacco warning labels
dc.subjectpictorial warning labels
dc.titleYoung Adults' Responses to Tobacco Pictorial Warning Labels within a Symbolic Consumption Framework
dc.language.rfc3066en of Commerce of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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