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Experts Back Graphic Photos On Cigarette Packs

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Expert backs graphic lung cancer pics on cigarette packs

By Julie M. Aurelio

Philippine Inquirer

Last updated 06:57pm (Mla time) 12/01/2007

SINGAPORE -- An international expert on respiratory diseases is all for posting graphic albeit gory images of the effects of lung cancer on cigarette packs to warn against hazards of smoking.

Citing the upward trend of smokers in the Asia-Pacific, Dr. Antonio Anzueto said such graphic images of smoking's effects just might dissuade people from lighting up.

"If to be able to reflect the very bad and deadly effects of smoking, I think the Philippines should resort to a graphic warning on cigarette labels too," Anzueto said at a recent press conference in Singapore.

A professor at the University of Texas Health Center, Anzueto and other doctors presented a study on chronic bronchitis and other smoking-related illnesses at a briefing sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Bayer.

Anzueto said he was aware of proposals in the Philippines that a law be passed requiring cigarette companies to include pictographic health warnings on cigarette packs.

Health Undersecretary Alexander Padilla earlier pushed for the law obliging picture-based health warnings on cigarette packs to warn smokers of the harmful consequences of smoking.

Anzueto said graphic warnings, such as photographs of severely damaged lungs or a malnourished baby, would certainly drive home the point against cigarette smoking.

"It has been done in Europe, Venezuela, Italy, Thailand and other countries.. The number of sold packs went down by at least 25 percent in the first month alone," the doctor noted.

Cigarette packs currently feature a text warning against the hazards of cigarette smoking, while picture-based warnings would serve as a "constant reminder" of how smoking could kill, he said.

Anzueto pointed out that in Europe, doctors are now more conscious of the smoking-related diseases and are more keen in identifying chronic bronchitis and other similar illnesses.

"Europeans are smoking less now because they are more aware of what smoking does," the doctor said.

Anzueto added that the new tack against cigarette smoking is timely, especially with the upward trends in smoking in Asian men and women.

"This trend is not going to go away.. People have to stop smoking for themselves and for the people around them," he explained.

Asked on how such smoking-related diseases could be alleviated faster in past and current smokers, Anzueto said: "Physicians and health care providers have to know which diseases to look for. There must be an increased awareness on their part. The damage is already there."

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I noticed that the more I look at those horrific pictures on the packets, the more afraid I get and the more I smoke.. According to Allen Carr's book the pictures actually inflict more fear in the smoker's mind. I personally think that governments make a lot more money at keeping on selling the drug and they know that the pictures do the job..

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Hmm... I wonder tho, what the deterrent effect is on non-smokers. Could be they are the ones being targeted here.l

***edit*** got interrupted mid post :o

I have noticed that among my friends who already smoke, these packs have not deterred them from smoking --- they are already well aware of the dangers and just ignore the packs. Its my non-smoking friends who get grossed out

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