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India, UK Join Growing List of Countries to Require Pictorial Tobacco Warnings
Date:10/15/2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- India and the United Kingdom have become the latest countries to require large picture warnings on all packs of cigarettes and other tobacco products, demonstrating global support for this important measure to reduce tobacco use. At least 14 countries now require such pictorial warnings.

India this month announced that it will require pictorial warnings covering at least half of the package beginning December 1. Pressure from the tobacco industry twice delayed a law requiring such warnings, but a court earlier this year ordered the government to implement them and Parliament subsequently passed an amendment to the law to overcome objections of the tobacco industry.

India's four initial pictorial warnings will include pictures of an ailing baby as a reminder of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and of a diseased mouth to show the risk of oral cancer.

The UK government has announced that it will require pictorial warnings beginning October 1, 2008. Tobacco products will have to display one of 15 picture warnings (the UK warnings can be viewed at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/tobaccopackwarnings).

Scientific studies have found that prominent health warnings lead to greater awareness of the health risks of tobacco use and increased desire to quit. A study published in the March 2007 issue of the American Journal of Public Health compared widely varying health warnings in four countries and found that large, pictorial warnings, such as those in Canada, are more effective than small text warnings, such as those in the United States.

The World Health Organization international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, requires ratifying nations to implement warnings that cover at least 30 percent of the principal display areas of cigarette packs and recommends that warnings cover at least 50 p
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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