21st Jan 2022

Graphic warnings to be put on cigarette packs

The EU is calling for images, which show the damage smoking can do to the body, to adorn cigarette packets as part of their continued anti-smoking drive.

The European Commission is proposing that packets should not only carry textual health warnings such as - "Smoking may reduce the blood flow and causes impotence", but that packets should also carry images to discourage smokers.

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The Commission has already ruled that, as of the end of this month (30 September), cigarette packets sold in the EU are to include health warnings in the form of large black on white text, covering at least 30% of the front of the cigarette pack and at least 40% of the back.

Now the European Commission has decided to ramp up its campaign and copy Brazilians and Canadians in allowing tobacco warnings to be illustrated with colour photos.

"One hard hitting picture really does speak more than a thousand words", said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne.

On Monday he announced a tender in Brussels inviting interested parties to create and pre-test such images, which Member States will be able to choose from.

The Commission will keep a library of the pre-tested photographs and illustrations, but there will be no legal obligation for governments to introduce the picture-based health warnings.

Interested artists, photographers and other creative persons must be quick if they want to participate.

Conditions state that obtaining contracts and additional documents are only available until 22 September and tenders will be open at 10:00 on 8 October 2003 in Luxembourg.

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