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New Zealand Considers Graphic Images on Cigarette Packs Including Pictures of Throat Cancer Rotting Teeth and Gums

May 10th 2006

New Zealand Considers Graphic Images on Cigarette Packs Including Pictures of Throat Cancer Rotting Teeth and Gums


New Zealand is considering putting strong pictures on cigarette packs sold in their country in an effort to curb smoking.  The Ministry of Health is releasing a proposal that would include pictures of “harsh evidence of the harms associated with smoking, including photos of smokers with throat cancer, rotting teeth and gums and gangrenous feet.”  This is according to Auckland Radio Station NewsTalk ZB 89.

The Ministry is looking for feedback before they begin the health warnings.  There are other countries that have already included graphic warnings on their cigarette packs.  These countries include Canada, Australia, Brazil and Thailand. 

Many countries already provide written warnings on their cigarette packs.  Radio New Zealand reports that the Ministry believes graphic warnings would be more effective than just written words. 


According to Chief Advisor on Public Health, Ashley Bloomfield, smokers under-estimate the risk of diseases, and do not know about many diseases smoking can cause.  According to Radio New Zealand, 24 percent of their adults smoke cigarettes.  

The numbers of smokers are declining, but at a slow rate.  It is hoped that this will help lower that rate.  The Ministry says that the tobacco industry will be responsible for the cost of putting the pictures on the packages.  The Ministry will also be the ones that provide the guidelines on size and placement of the pictures.  Comment on this Article at our Forum


The new guidelines are in response to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.  New Zealand was an early ratifier of the convention two years ago.  Dr LEE Jong-wook. Director-General, World Health Organization says “The WHO FCTC negotiations have already unleashed a process that has resulted in visible differences at country level. The success of the WHO FCTC as a tool for public health will depend on the energy and political commitment that we devote to implementing it in countries in the coming years. A successful result will be global public health gains for all."

Radio New Zealand reports that the tobacco companies say this will not stop people from smoking.  They say that the British American Tobacco corporate affairs manager, Carrick Graham, told Morning Report that written warnings have not cut the number of people smoking and he does not believe putting pictures on packets will make any difference either.


According to NewsTalk ZB, after Canada added the images to their cigarette packs the smoking rate dropped by two percent in four years.  In New Zealand the images are expected to cover up to 60 percent of the front and back of packages.  The associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor says the packets will be aimed to shock.

Action on Smoking in Health director, Becky Freeman, says graphic warnings on cigarette packets are essential, Radio New Zealand reports.  The rate of smoking in Australia is 5 percent lower than New Zealand. 

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM