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Puff-packs to sport potent pictures of smoking-peril

Come autumn of 2007, cigarette packets will carry graphic representations depicting the dangerous outcome of smoking, intended to be a potent warning// to ward off the smoking habit. The pictorial representation could be diseased lungs, a dying smoker and a foetus in the womb.

A website installed by the Department of Health, is soliciting opinion from the public regarding opinions about a range of pictures that intend to underline the pitfalls of smoking.

There is a lot of truth that images have a far greater impact than plain text, and evidence to this is already shown in certain countries that have introduced visual aids in their packaging.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "The evidence from Canada, Brazil and elsewhere is clear - graphic picture warnings inform people of the risks of smoking and help encourage people to reduce their smoking or quit altogether. They also help minimize uptake by young people. This measure will help deglamorise cigarette packs and let people know what they really get from smoking.”

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, said: "We have already made a lot of progress with the stark written warnings on cigarette packs. However, these messages become less effective over time so we now need to refresh our approach by introducing new hard-hitting images. We know that these type of warnings have already been successful in other countries such as Canada, Singapore and Brazil.”


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