Possibility of new graphic health warnings on NZ cigarette packs

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Zealand Associate Minister of Health Damien O’Connor has proposed that warnings, both images and text, should cover 60% of the packaging of cigarettes sold in the country. New Zealand is required to do so under obligations to the World Health Organisation.

The new images would depict throat cancer, rotting teeth/gums and gangrenous feet. Ashley Bloomfield, Chief Advisor on Public Health, says written warnings aren’t as effective as pictures, and that many smokers do not know most of the diseases that smoking can cause.

If the proposal were adopted, the Ministry would dictate the size and placement of the images to the tobacco companies, but would not subsidise the cost of the changes.

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