Graphic photos on tobacco packs save lives: WHO report
Large, graphic health warnings on tobacco packets in China would increase awareness about the harms of smoking, help to cut smoking rates, and in doing so save lives according to global studies. These are the key findings from a new report, Tobacco health warnings in China – Evidence of effectiveness and implications for action, from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project), released today.
"This new report presents a very compelling case for the introduction of large, pictorial – or 'graphic' – health warnings on all tobacco packages in China," Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO Representative in China, said.
"The average smoker in China smokes 15-17 cigarettes per day. This means the average smoker is exposed to a health warning more than 6200 times in one year, simply through the act of getting each cigarette from the pack. Making the pack warnings more effective is therefore an incredibly effective way of warning smokers about the health hazards of smoking and encouraging them to quit. And it is very cost-effective for governments too – requiring virtually no financial resources to implement or enforce," explained Dr Schwartländer.
The report highlights important international evidence from the ITC Project on the implementation of large, pictorial warnings in other countries and areas.