Geraldine Amparo | Micaela Isabel Arellano | Remigio Callanta Jr | Jeffrey David | Berthrand Martin Fajardo | Almira Joy Maglaqui | Ariana Angelica Ramos | Patrick Erlo Reyes | Luisito Jeremiah Samonte | Karen Tehani Sarmiento | Monique Ann Santos | Irene V. Columbano
Background: Graphic Warning Health Labels (GHWL) have been endorsed in the Philippines through RA 10643. This technique applies visual and textual warnings concerning the health risk of smoking on all commercial cigarette packages. Targeted studies of GHWLs on vulnerable populations like adolescents locally are sparse. Objective: This study aims to determine the overall response to the GHWL templates endorsed by RA 10643 among Filipino adolescents of Caloocan City as it correlates to demographics, smoking status and societal influences on smoking behavior. Methods: This quasi-experimental study on adolescent students utilized questionnaires which measured reactions through a series of questions on a GHWL handout which was presented to the subjects. Participants were selected via convenience sampling from participating schools. Results: Among 357 adolescent, graphic templates elicited the greatest response among smokers and non-smokers alike. The overall responses to GHWLs were characterized as having no intentions to try smoking (92.2%) with thoughts of quitting amongst active smokers (63.6 %). The RA 10643 templates on “Smoking Causes Throat Cancer” graphic elicited the highest levels of agreement (69.7%) with “Cigarette Smoke Contains Formalin” eliciting the lowest (35.5%). Responses were found to be significantly altered upon GHWL exposure all of which revolved around issues concerning misconceptions of what constitutes “harmless smoking practices.” Conclusion: GHWLs show a promising effect on Filipino adolescents in terms of shaping their individual responses to smoking behaviors.