Smokers will be faced with graphic pictures of blackened lungs, throat cancer and rotten teeth, as well as a ‘flaccid cigarette’. The images will replace the current written warnings which have been in place since January 2003.
The Department of Health is hopeful that the stark photographic warnings will be an even greater success than written ones. Figures suggest that since the introduction of health warnings, more than five years ago, over 90,000 smokers have been motivated to call the NHS smoking helpline.
Research has also shown that smokers are more likely to recognise the damage they are doing to themselves if they see a picture.
Sir Liam Donaldson, chief medical officer for England, said he was confident that the new warnings will help even more people quit their deadly habit. ‘These new stark pictures warnings emphasise the harsh realities of continuing to smoke,’ he said.
‘This will help maintain the momentum of the increasing number of people who have given up smoking following England going smoke-free in 2007,’ he added.
Despite there being 1.9 million fewer smokers than in 1982, smoking is still the biggest killer in England – causing the premature death of over 82,000 people each year.