Objective: To determine which graphic warnings on cigarette packs (images on the labels indicating the negative impact on health that tobacco can have) provoke the strongest desire to quit smoking among adult Mexican smokers.
Material and methods: A pile sort method was used among 60 smokers over 18 years old to determine which images made them think about quitting smoking. Averages were determined and non-parametric statistical methods were used to determine differences in ranks.
Results: Within each of the five themes, one or two graphic warnings provoked the strongest responses in smokers. The graphic warnings with the greatest impact used the following images: a close-up of a lung tumor; a man with cancer of the larynx with a large tumorous mass on the exterior part of his neck; an unconscious young man in a bed in an intensive care unit with text mentioning benzene, formaldehyde and cyanide as tobacco components; an image of two healthy children indicating that cigarettes contain carbon monoxide; an image of a dead fetus in a specimen jar; and a close up of a mouth with yellow, rotting teeth and text describing tooth loss and mouth cancer as a result of tobacco use.
Conclusions: The graphic warnings used on cigarette packs in other countries could contribute to cessation among Mexican smokers and should be implemented in Mexico.