Pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in Britain

September 28th, 2008 - 12:01 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 28 (IANS) Pictures showing gruesome effects of smoking on the body will replace text warnings on cigarette packets in Britain from Oct 1.The images - which include pictures of rotting teeth and lungs, throat cancer, and a ‘flaccid’ cigarette - will replace the written warnings featured on packs, introduced in January 2003.

Britain is the first country in the European Union (EU) to introduce pictorial warnings. The government is considering going even further and legislating that all packaging must be plain white, with only the brand name and the warnings.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson told The Telegraph: “I welcome the introduction of picture warnings on tobacco product packaging, which show smokers the grim reality of the effects smoking can have on their health. This will help to maintain the momentum of the increasing number of people who have given up smoking following England going smoke free in 2007.”

Stephen Singleton, regional director of public health, said: “The introduction of picture warnings on to tobacco product packaging provides a very stark warning to smokers.”

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death in Britain, causing the premature death of more than 87,000 people each year.

There are 10 million smokers in Britain and around half of them will die early as a result of their habit, according to health department studies.

Following the ban on smoking in public places and bars and restaurants and a campaign by the NHS, more than 350,000 smokers stopped smoking with local NHS Stop Smoking Services around the country.

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