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Thursday, November 29, 2012

AdilanClub: Gorier images to deter new smokers

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:21 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A diseased eye, kept open by a pair of callipers, peering from a pack of cigarettes.

A grey-skinned patient, intubated to help him breathe, makes it to the back of a metal cigarillo box.

These are but two of a set of six new and more gruesome pictures intended to scare new and younger smokers to stop lighting up.

These and four others - a miscarried foetus, a crying baby with a hook through his earlobe, open heart surgery and a cancerous lesion on the neck - will appear on cigarette packs in March next year.

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Global Promotion Alliance

The images were done in collaboration with doctors who ensured they were accurate.

Ms Joanne Chandler, of the Health Promotion Board (HPB), said the images were pre-tested among 130 smokers aged 15 to 69.

"The six images selected ranked highest in triggering intentions of quitting among smokers, and discouraging smoking among the youth and young adults.

"One of the images focuses on the harms of smoking to children and (has) been tested to resonate among those who have or are thinking of starting a family," she said.

HPB said both local and international studies have shown the health warning messages to be effective in encouraging smokers to quit smoking.

However, it plans to evaluate reaction once the new set of graphic health warnings have officially been rolled out to help assess the impact of the messages.

Still, the screws against smoking are tightened elsewhere.

Also in March next year, each cigarette will contain reduced amount of tar and nicotine - no more than 10mg of tar, lowered from 15mg, and 1.0mg of nicotine, from 1.3mg.Chemicals

And instead of displaying tar and nicotine levels on each pack, a new health information notice will also be printed to tell smokers that the cigarette contains other chemicals such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene.

Tobacco firms will also not be allowed to use words such as "mild" and "light", which can lead smokers to believe the brand is healthy.

The changes followed a 2010 amendment to the tobacco laws. The Ministry of Health announced in Parliament then that it planned to tighten the rules to clamp down on smoking.

Non-compliance would mean a fine of up to $10,000 or jail up to six months or both under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.

To ensure the 5,000 licensed tobacco retailers across Singapore are aware of the changes, the Tobacco Association of Singapore (TAS) is distributing posters to them.

The latest National Health Survey in 2010 showed that about 14 per cent of Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 smoked cigarettes every day - compared with 12.6 per cent in 2004.

This suggests that current anti-tobacco strategies including increased tobacco taxes and public education campaigns have failed to curb the number of smokers.

Singapore first launched graphic health warnings in August 2004, featuring a series of gory pictures depicting the effects of smoking.

These comprised diseased gums, a cancerous lung, a dying baby, a brain oozing blood, a patient on his deathbed and a family suffering second-hand smoke in silence.

HPB has been reviewing the graphic health warnings. Acting on feedback from smokers, it rolled out a new set of graphics in 2006, focusing on diseasedPhotobucket


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