Graphic images to target smokers

The UK will next week become the first European country to introduce graphic images on cigarette packets to warn about the dangers of smoking.

The 15 different images will include pictures of a diseased lung and heart surgery being performed.

They will start to be introduced on 1 October, but it will be another year before all packets contain them as existing stock will have to be sold.

The images will replace the written warnings that started in 2003.

And other tobacco products will be expected to follow suit by 2010.

The Department of Health said the written warnings had been a success with research showing more than 90,000 smokers had been motivated to call the NHS quit line because of them.

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

But officials said it was time to take a tougher approach after progress made in countries that have already introduced them.

Canada became the first nation to use images in 2001 with surveys one year on showing a third of quitters had been motivated by the images.

Similar warnings are also used in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and Singapore, prompting the EU to encourage European countries to act.

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."

And Deborah Arnott, director of anti-smoking campaign group Ash, added: "The introduction of picture warnings on tobacco products is a strong visual reminder of the horrendous illnesses caused by smoking and the evidence is that they work."

But Simon Clark, of smokers' lobby group Forest, said smokers were being "unfairly" targeted, pointing out images are not being introduced on drinks.

"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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Warnings on packets did not make one bit of difference for me I already knew they were bad for me and I doubt pictures would have bothered me either. What they should have on packets is advice on how to find sites like this plus contact numbers that people could ring for advice on how to quit.

17 Replies

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  • It will be interesting to see the public reaction both for smokers and non-smokers who have to see the pictures while buying their morning paper! I must say that I despise the idea that using shocking and offensive pictures is a good way of influencing the public. Many years ago the RSPCA sent me a letter asking for a donation accompanied by some truly disturbing pictures of mistreated animals. I so disapproved of their tactics that I will never, ever give money to them.

    Personally I think that smokers know the risks, and I agree with Phil that printed warnings didn't do anything to stop me, we all know that we stop when we are ready!

    The only possible positive that I can see is if it helps to prevent people start.

  • I agree, as a smoker the images never deterred me. I saw two people in my family die of cancer. I was smoking at the funerals, i was in complete denial. The government needs to start educating young people on the dangers of addiction, not the smoking. After all you could get hit by a bus. Just an excuse for some department or other to get rid of their budget really.

    Nicotine addiction is just the tip of the iceberg. While i believe people should have a choice i think the government should ban cigarettes altogther. That'll stop em :rolleyes:

  • hmmm FOREST

    I have mixed reactions to this as I have seen these packets somewhere else a few years ago and I found them quite revoltiong, they did make me not want to smoke, and feel frankly a little ASHamed (excuse the pun:D). The health warnings again did influence me slightly in that everynow and then I would cover the message up so as not to think about it.

    I agree that educating people about addiction is far more key as those are the symptoms we can all recognise in ourselfs and not just say it will never happen to me with.

    HOwever, I hate looking at skanky lung images, I am a squeemish person and I don't see why i should have to see those images all the time..

    BUT, I do thing they will help quitters stay quit by making very apparent the true nature of cigs, I believe they will reduce the number of people who start smoking dramatically, and they will help more people quit and make smoking even more of a social stigma.

    ... Aren't the people from FOREST infuriating?! Aren't there more worthy causes in the world to fight for.. i mean really even as a smoker human, animal and environmental issues and rights were always more important than rights to and support of smoking!

    Does anybody know anyone who is affiliated with forest?

    x

    sachmo

  • If I still smoked I would take the cigs out of the pack and put them in a case.

    They would have little effect other than not letting others see the ugly packs of smokes.

  • When will people learn that you can't persuade people to stop smoking? They may call the quitline but how many actually quit?

    The ONLY way a smoker will quit, is if he/she really wants to. And I mean REALLY wants to. And the only way to acheive that is with education.

    Smoking is bad, hmmmkay?

  • I think sarcastic humour would do it better, than shocking pictures!

    Instead of Blond, Irish, Essex Girl jokes if smokers could be made the butt of the joke that might have a more positive effect. [pun intended]

    Lets have a go:-

    - Why did the smoker cross the road.... To get to the oxygen bottle.

    - Why didn't the smoker cross the road..... He was out of breath.

    - What do you call an old smoker.... The exception

    - What is the difference between a smoker and a pile of manure..... A pile of manure smells better.

    OK they are not that good but if I can think these up in 2 minutes, a comic writer could devise hundreds of good ones. Media campaigns, viral videos and pictures, one liners on fag packets etc and before you knew it the smoker would be seen as a figure or ridicule, which would mean fewer would start and more would want to disassociate themselves.

    Just a thought.

  • haha love it!!!! fantastic idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  • When will people learn that you can't persuade people to stop smoking? They may call the quitline but how many actually quit?

    The ONLY way a smoker will quit, is if he/she really wants to. And I mean REALLY wants to. And the only way to acheive that is with education.

    Smoking is bad, hmmmkay?

    Maybe we need to remember that it is important, maybe more important to stop people taking up the habit than it is to stop those already caught in the trap and that graphic images on fag packets might persuade a few youngsters to give it a miss. Personally I’m not convinced but let’s face it it’s worth a try, after all what harm can it do..?

    I tend to agree with Stuart that no number of graphic images will actually drive anyone to quitting and it would be nicer if the government spent the cash on a decent education programme.. :rolleyes:

  • Agreed it is very important but the questions is where should they spend the money.

    I think it would be better to follow the route they are using to promote safe sex, where the lad is basically bragging that he did it without a condom and his mates reaction is - you tw@t.

    If the government, media and society can get into people's minds that if you smoke you are a tw@t, then I think it would have more effect than saying it will kill you or look at this diseased lung, after all we know and have seen these images for years and people still start smoking.

    Just my 2p.

    Nic

  • Lets have a go:-

    - Why did the smoker cross the road.... To get to the oxygen bottle.

    - Why didn't the smoker cross the road..... He was out of breath.

    - What do you call an old smoker.... The exception

    - What is the difference between a smoker and a pile of manure..... A pile of manure smells better.

    LMAO!!! :D:D

    Maybe we could print things like.... For the cost of these cancer sticks yer chuggin into your lungs, you could have bought a bag of shhopping!!

  • Phill You bragging again Lol. xxxx

  • Just thought I would share this article with you, not as much a graffic piccie that you get on packs in Thailand and Vietnam, but hey hum were British after all!

  • Oops

    Helps if you put the article in:

    Britain has become the first country in Europe to introduce graphic pictures warnings on all tobacco products (graphic of a elderly bloke on slap with cloth over half his face and what looks like a scar from heart surgery). The warnings, which will start to appear this week, illustrate the devastating effects tobacco can have on health.

    Liam Donaldson, chief medical officer, said he hoped the images would drive more people to stop smoking. ‘Written health warnings have encouraged many smokers to stop smoking. These new stark picture warnings emphasise the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke’ he said.

    Warning were introduced five years ago and DoH (Department of Health) research claims these have encouraged more than 90,000 smokers to contact to contact NHS.

    Canada was the first place to introduce the graphic warnings in 2001 and within a year 31% of ex smokers reported that the pictures motivated them.

    Nearly 2 million smoker have quit since 1982 (and were part of this) but smoking is still the biggest killer in England, prematurely killing 87,000 per year (SHIT)

  • oh dear Rick,

    I think you may get a reaction there.

    1673

  • I think those stickers are awesome!

    The people with the fag packets need a laugh (before their lungs are too full of cr@p to be able to without going into a coughing fit).

    Dont lecture, or hate them. Pity them, they haven't seen the light yet.

  • Check out this cartoon - v funny

    metacafe.com/watch/703149/s...

  • The chosen pics dh.gov.uk/en/Publichealth/H...

    Tracey x

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