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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Graphic images target smokers

29th September 2008

The UK will be one of the first countries in Europe to display "graphic images on cigarette packets" to caution people about how dangerous smoking is to their health.


Packets will begin to show the imagery from 1 October this year, although it will take a year before every packet of cigarettes shows them.

The images will be displayed on packets instead of the text introduced in 2003, and will include photos of heart surgery and diseased lungs. Other products which contain tobacco will show the images by 2010.

The Department of Health stated that the text on packets had worked and their research showed that over 90,000 people who smoked called the NHS telephone quitting service due to the warnings.

Canada was the first country which used images on cigarette packets in 2001. Research revealed that one third of people who gave up smoking had been "motivated by the images".

Singapore, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand also use the same type of warning which has encouraged the EU to ask countries in Europe to add the images.

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said: "Written health warnings have encouraged many smokers to stop."

"These new stark picture warnings emphasise the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke."

However Simon Clark, of smokers' lobby group Forest, said smokers were being singled out and said similar images were not being put on alcohol.

"There will be a little impact in the short-term, but in the long-term they will just become wallpaper and be ignored."


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