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WHO: Cigarette Packages Should Display Graphic Warnings

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending that tobacco companies be compelled to include graphic images of sickness caused by smoking on cigarette packages, the Associated Press reported May 29.

The WHO cited studies on education campaigns in Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Thailand which found that the use of warning images on cigarette and tobacco product packages helped smokers quit and prevented others from becoming addicted to tobacco.

Only one-tenth of the world's population lives in countries where governments require companies to display warning images on tobacco products.

“Health warnings on tobacco packages are a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives,” said Ala Alwan, a senior WHO official. “Warnings that include images of the harm that tobacco causes are particularly effective at communicating risk and motivating behavioral changes, such as quitting or reducing tobacco consumption.”

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