Graphic warning labels headed for Europe

A pack with cigarettes

Germans are currently informed that smoking is harmful to their health and to those near them. It was claimed that in the near future, pictures of smokers’ harmed anatomies will replace thousands of words.

German famou paper “Bild” said on December 13 that the European Commission had decided on a common plan for tobacco products, after weeks of pause.

Getting a draft file from the EU’s executive, Bild said that more explicit, health warning labels would be printed on packages – in addition to a ban on additives such as those frequently noticed in menthol cigarettes. Words such as “Light” would also be banned, together with slim cigarettes, the paper stated.

Cigarette packages in Germany already have warning labels such as “smoking can be deadly” or “smoking causes considerable damage to you and people around you,” but Australia and England have already implemented a program where images of harmed lungs, teeth and other body parts are displayed in pictures. The reason for such measures is that these kinds of pictures present more powerful information than written health warning labels.

Bild claimed that these health warning labels, made up of a text and pictures, would take three-quarters of the front and back of any cigarette pack. Having taken consumer details on taxes accessed into account, the legislation would give only about 20% of the pack for the company to indicate itself.

The predicted ban on additives like coffee, flavorings, vitamins or coloring would likely ban the manufacturing of menthol cigarettes.

Bild’s data indicated a minimal diameter of 7.5 millimeters for all cigarettes, indicating that the slim cigarette brands – especially popular among regular smokers and women – would no longer adjust to European regulations.

Britain released similar rules in October 2008. Australia, at the same time, began printing big warning labels on similar olive brown cigarette packages – with the different brands printed in similar font – on December 1, 2012. This new Australian packaging is comparable – though a little more strictly controlled – than the data Bild stated it had received for Europe December 13.

The medical journal “The Lancet” released its “Global Burden of Disease Study 2010” on December 13, stating smoking was the world’s second-biggest health threat on average all over the world.

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