UK cancer charity welcomes new cigarette warning labels

19th November 2010 - Fine Cut

A UK cancer charity is welcoming plans by US regulators to put bigger warning labels on cigarette packets, in a bid to reduce the number of smoking related illnesses.

Diseased lungs, dead bodies and children using oxygen masks are just some of the images that could end up on cigarette packets in the US by 2012. The proposed images are so graphic it is hoped that by showing the negative effects of smoking, some people will be shocked into rethinking their habit.

At present, thirty-six different images are being considered by officials, who will also conduct a study into the effectiveness of each picture with consumers. A decision will then be made on which images are to accompany the nine health warning statements, which will appear on the upper half of the front and back panels of cigarette panels.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, told WebMDHealth News: "It's encouraging that the USA is taking action to reduce the attraction of the cigarette pack as a marketing tool by adding these strong visual images. In the UK picture health warnings were introduced in 2008 because of clear evidence that they encourage smokers to think about quitting. We would like to see picture warnings on both the front and back of the pack and covering a much larger area, as research shows this diminishes even more the 'glamour' associated with colourful branding."

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