Shock images to appear on US cigarette packets

Nine graphic anti-smoking images are to be placed on cigarette packs in the US.

Corpses, cancer patients and diseased lungs are among the images planned to take up half of each pack of cigarettes sold in America.

The campaign has been announced by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce tobacco use, which is responsible for nearly 500,000 deaths per year in the US.

About 20% of Americans smoke but the reduction rate has stalled since 2004.

Some experts have cited tobacco company discounts or lack of funding for programmes to discourage smoking or to help smokers quit, so the FDA is proposing 36 possible labels.

The final labels will be decided next June after reviews of scientific literature, public comments and results from an 18,000-person study.

The new warnings must take up the top half of a pack – both front and back – and warning labels must also constitute 20% of advertisements.
In 2008, grisly photos showing how deadly a habit smoking can be were slapped on every cigarette packet sold in the UK.

The UK was the first country in the EU to introduce such graphic picture warnings to cigarette packets – a move welcomed at the time by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).

Among the disturbing pictures appearing on cigarette packets are those of blackened teeth, rotting lungs, a corpse in a morgue and a baby in intensive care.

The images replaced the previous written warning, although the messages ‘Smoking kills’ and ‘Smoking seriously harms you and others around you’ will continue to appear on the front of packets.

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