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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 6, pp e395–e400 | Cite as

Alcohol warning label perceptions: Emerging evidence for alcohol policy

  • Mohammed Al-hamdaniEmail author
  • Steven Smith
Quantitative Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Patterns of alcohol and cigarette use and abuse can be considered parallels due to their similar social, biological and epidemiological implications. Therefore, the cross-fertilization of policy research, including health warnings evidence, is justified. The objective of this study was to apply the lessons learned from the tobacco health warnings and plain packaging literature to an alcohol packaging study and test whether labelling alters consumer perceptions.

METHODS: Ninety-two adults were exposed to four labelling conditions of bottles for a famous brand of each of wine, beer and hard liquor. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four labelling conditions: standard, text warning, text and image warning, or text and image warning on a plain bottle. Participants then expressed their product-based (i.e., evaluation of the products) and consumer-based (i.e., evaluation of potential consumers of the products) perceptions in relation to each label condition and were asked to recognize the correct health warning.

RESULTS: As expected, participants perceived bottles with warnings less positively as compared to standard bottles in terms of product-based and consumer-based perceptions: plain bottles showed the most consistent statistically significant results, followed by text and image warnings, and then text warnings in pair-wise comparisons with the standard bottles. Some support for the impact of plain packaging on warning recognition was also found.

CONCLUSION: Unlike previous studies, this study reveals that health warnings, if similar to those on cigarette packs, can change consumer-based and product-based perceptions of alcohol products. The study reveals the importance of serious consideration of stringent alcohol warning policy research.

Key Words

Alcohol alcohol policy drug labelling public policy 

Mots Clés

alcool politique sur l’alcool étiquetage de médicament politique publique 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Les habitudes de consommation et d’abus pour l’alcool et la cigarette peuvent être considérées comme étant parallèles en raison de leurs répercussions sociales, biologiques et épidémiologiques semblables. L’enrichissement mutuel de la recherche stratégique sur l’alcool et la cigarette, y compris les données probantes sur les mises en garde sanitaires, est donc justifié. Notre étude visait à appliquer les leçons tirées des études sur les mises en garde sanitaires et la banalisation des emballages des produits du tabac á une étude sur l’emballage de l’alcool, et de tester si l’étiquetage modifie les perceptions des consommateurs.

MÉthode: Quatre-vingt-douze adultes ont été exposés à quatre formules d’étiquetage des bouteilles de marques connues de vin, de bière et d’une boisson fortement alcoolisée (une marque chacune). Les participants ont été exposés de façon alêatoire à l’une de quatre formules d’étiquetage: étiquette standard; texte de mise en garde; texte et image de mise en garde; ou texte et image de mise en garde sur une bouteille banale. Les participants ont ensuite exprimé leurs perceptions fondées sur le produit (évaluation du produit) et fondée sur les consommateurs du produit (évaluation des consommateurs possibles du produit) pour chaque formule d’étiquetage, et on leur a demandé d’identifier la mise en garde sanitaire correcte.

RÉSULTATS: Comme prévu, les participants ont eu une perception moins positive des bouteilles avec mise en garde que des bouteilles standard, tant pour ce qui est du produit que des consommateurs du produit; les bouteilles banales ont donné les résultats significatifs les plus constants, suivies des bouteilles avec texte et image de mise en garde, et enfin des bouteilles avec texte de mise en garde seulement, selon les comparaisons par paire avec les bouteilles standard. Nous avons aussi recueilli des preuves à l’appui de l’impact de la banalisation des emballages sur la reconnaissance des mises en garde.

CONCLUSION: Contrairement aux études antérieures, celle-ci révèle que les mises en garde sanitaires, si elles sont semblables à celles que l’on trouve sur les paquets de cigarettes, peuvent changer les perceptions des produits alcoolisés fondées sur le produit et sur les consommateurs du produit. Notre étude montre l’importance de songer sérieusement à faire de la recherche stratégique sur le resserrement des mises en garde sur l’alcool.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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