Graphic pics on tobacco packs save lives: WHO

ANI| Updated: Apr 09, 2014, 11:28 AM IST

Washington: A new WHO reports says that 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.

The findings are 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.

Dr Bernhard Schwartlander, WHO Representative in China, said that the new report presents a very compelling case for the introduction of large, pictorial - or 'graphic' - health warnings on all tobacco packages in China.

The report highlights important international evidence from the ITC Project on the implementation of large, pictorial warnings in other countries and areas.

Professor Geoffrey Fong, ITC Project Principal Investigator and co-author of the new report, said evidence from around the world shows that large, pictorial warnings significantly increase effectiveness of pack warning labels by increasing knowledge, awareness and perceptions of the risk of cigarettes. This leads to greater motivation among smokers to quit, and lowered motivation among non-smokers to start up.