Smokers will soon be confronted with a new set of graphic warnings on their cigarette packets, with seven gruesome pictures to be added to those already on display. From today, tobacco manufacturers can introduce a second set of seven images on cigarette packs, and all cigarette packs must be printed with this second set by 1 March 2007.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, said seven images had been on display on cigarette packs since 1 March this year.
“When I launched these warnings I said that the images would be rotated annually to keep the message fresh,” Mr Pyne said.
From today, tobacco manufacturers can introduce a second set of images on cigarette packs and all cigarette packs must be printed with this second set by 1 March 2007.
The new set of warnings cover the smoking-related health topics of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, blindness, the effect of smoking on unborn babies, the addictiveness of smoking and the toxicity of tobacco smoke.
“These images, together with health warnings and explanatory messages, aim to increase consumer knowledge of the health effects of smoking and encourage them to quit. They also discourage people taking up the habit or relapsing.”
Smoking tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia with around 19,000 deaths each year as a result of tobacco use.
“While it is still early days, preliminary results show there has been a marked increase in calls to the Quitline since these warnings were introduced, with more than double the average number of calls per day compared with the same period in 2005,” Mr Pyne said.