Shocking pictures to appear on cigarette packets in uk on 1st october

Shocking pictures to appear on cigarette packets in uk on 1st october

The UK's ten million Smokers may see pictures of rotting teeth, throat cancer, and indications of male impotence (erectile dysfunction) on cigarette packets they buy at the beginning of October. The Department of Health (DoH) says "The warnings illustrate the devastating effects that tobacco can have on health."

Written warnings were introduced in January 2003. The DoH says they have been a great success. It says over 90,000 smokers have been moved by written warnings and consequently called the NHS Smoking Helpline (Tel - (0800 169 0 169).

There are 1.9 million fewer smokers today in the United Kingdom, compared to 1982. However, the DoH says smoking is still the nation's biggest killer. In England alone smoking is responsible for the premature deaths of 87,000 people annually.

The DoH says it expects the graphic pictures should have an even bigger impact on both triggering smokers into action (to giving up) and putting off want-to-be smokers from ever starting. These visual warnings will be changed periodically, for maximum effect. Research suggests that smokers remember the negative effects for longer if they are exposed to images, compared to written sentences.

Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer said:

"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. Written health warnings have encouraged many smokers to stop smoking. These new stark picture warnings emphasize the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke. I hope they will make many more think hard about giving up, and get the help they need to stop smoking for good."

The Department of Health, in a recent press release, quotes Michael Shepherd, 39, who was diagnosed with throat cancer two years ago. Michael hopes that the new warnings will help make smokers realize that the risks they are taking are real. He hopes that, unlike him, they can stop before it is too late.

Michael Shepherd said "Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt I was invincible. I was a big strong bloke working at a trade I loved; I had a huge circle of friends and money to spend. Now I'm on invalidity benefits, and live on state handouts. I hate it and would do anything to get back into work. All this has happened to me because of smoking. I never realized you could get cancer so young. The doctors saved my life, but what I've got now is a hard struggle. I will keep on and I will fight to get better, if only for my daughter's sake."

In 2001 Canada introduced graphic warnings. Official reports indicate that 31% of Canadian ex-smokers gave up because they had seen the pictures, and 27 per cent reported they had helped them to stay smokefree. The following countries use graphic warning on tobacco products - Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Venezuela, Thailand and Uruguay.

According to local NHS Stop Smoking Services around England, 350,000 smokers in the UK stopped smoking. If you are a smoker and wish to give up you can join them and find out more - order a free DVD which explains the different types of NHS support available to help smokers who want to quit - call 0800 169 0 169.

The images come from an image bank stipulated by the European Union. The warnings 'Smoking kills' and 'Smoking seriously harms you and others around you' will continue to be used on the front of tobacco packs.

List of warnings:

1. Smokers die younger

2. Smoking clogs the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes

3. Smoking causes fatal lung cancer

4. Smoking is highly addictive, don't start

5. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of fatal heart and lung diseases

6. Smoking can cause a slow and painful death

7. Smoking causes ageing of the skin

8. Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility

9. Smoking may reduce the blood flow and cause impotence

10. Smoking contains benzene, nitrosamines, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide

11. Smoking when pregnant harms your baby

12. Protect children, don't make them breathe your smoke

13. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you stop smoking

14. Get help to stop smoking

15. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you stop smoking (alternative for retail travel sector)

Information about free NHS stop smoking support

-- The NHS Smoking Helpline (0800 169 0 169) provides expert, free, and friendly advice to smokers and those close to them. Advisers go through the range of options available from the NHS and can also refer callers to a local NHS Stop Smoking Service.

-- Local NHS Stop Smoking Services offer ongoing free face-to-face support and advice close to people's homes. There are over 150 throughout the country, offering a range of services including one-to-one or group support sessions with trained stop smoking advisors. Research shows that smokers are up to four times more likely to successfully stop smoking if they use their local NHS Stop Smoking Service together with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) than they are if they use willpower alone. Call 0800 169 0 169 or visit, or ask your local GP or pharmacist for details.

-- The NHS also offers an interactive stop smoking support programme, Together, which helps smokers to quit by providing advice at key stages of the quitting process through a range of communication methods including email, text messages, information packs and phone calls. Call 0800 169 0 169 or visit for details.

-- The NHS Smokefree campaign has produced a free DVD which provides a 'behind-the-scenes' look at the range of free stop smoking support available from the NHS. Real-life quitters talk about how the local NHS Stop Smoking Services, NHS Smoking Helpline and Together Programme worked for them and a doctor explains the different medical treatments to deal with nicotine cravings that are available on prescription from the NHS. Call 0800 169 0 169 to order a copy.

Source - Department of Health (UK)

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