"Warning labels vary widely from country to country but it is clear that once people see the labels, the same psychological and emotional processes are involved in making people consider quitting smoking," said Hua-Hie Yong from Cancer Council Victoria in Australia.

Even smokers who avoided the labels by covering them up or by keeping them out of sight reported thinking about the health risks and about quitting often.

"This just goes to prove the idea that the more one tries not to think of something, the more one tends to focus on it," Yong added.

The study participants smoked an average of 17 cigarettes a day and 37 percent reported trying to quit at least once at the one-year follow-up.

The study appeared in the journal Health Psychology.


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