New picture warnings will provide shocking reminder of health impacts of smoking

Friday 26 September 2008

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomes the introduction of new stark picture warnings on tobacco products which will start appearing on cigarette packs from early October.

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity, ASH said:

“The stark images in the picture warnings on tobacco products are a call to action to smokers to quit, and the evidence is that they work.

The evidence also shows that picture warnings work better on plain packs, so we are urging the Government to also implement legislation to require the removal of pack branding to maximise the impact of these images.”

One obvious disadvantage of the current EU law is that the picture warnings will only be printed on the reverse side of cigarette packs, and thus will be less visible than if they were on the front.

ASH believes that there is also a strong case to be made for significantly increasing the area devoted to health warnings, as is the case in Australia and New Zealand.

Tobacco manufacturers have one year in which to ensure that all cigarettes carry pictorial warnings – i.e. the last date for compliance with the law is 30 September 2009

The 14 new warnings can be viewed here.

A full media briefing is available here.