According to the World’s Health Organization’s report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic (2011), a third of the global adult population smokes, which results in 5 million smoking-related deaths per year worldwide. It is estimated that by the 2030, this number will increase to 8 million deaths annually. Keeping in mind the health and well-being of people around the world, our community at Neuromarketing Science & Business Association (NMSBA) has decided to address this matter by initiating in 2014 the „Neuro Against Smoking” (NAS) Project. The goal we set, was to check, what is the true impact and effectiveness of anti-tobacco warnings presented on cigarette packs across the globe, and to show that neuro measures can bring new, and valuable insights, to the existing discussion on cigarette warnings.
We used the Reaction Time method to explore consumer’s emotional attitudes. According to Russel Fazio’s experiments people with fast Reaction Times are more certain of their attitudes, and thus, these attitudes are more likely to be transferred into real behavior.
Warnings messages used in the Neuro Against Smoking (NAS) Project; According to WHO recommendations. Identifying effective solutions to fight against smoking. When designing the research, we thoroughly took under consideration the WHO’s recommendations stating that (1) warnings should cover a minimum 30% of the package, (2) they can consist either of text only or text + picture, and (3) they can present various content – oriented towards smokers or smokers and people around them. We selected four different warning messages for testing.
Value of NEURO tools
On a declarative level both pictures and text warnings were evaluated as trustworthy, however Reaction Times was faster in the case of pictures — it means that people are more convinced that pictures are truly trustworthy. It proves that the application of combined explicit and implicit measures can be beneficial, to find the most effective solution, and identify drivers that have a real impact on smoker’s behavior.