All people know that cigarette smoking is bad. It can kill you. Several reports from the news up to the stories you’ve heard from your friends mentioned its real effects such as lung cancer and other diseases caused mainly by continuous smoking. Despite the fact people already know about how bad it is, why can’t they easily dump that pack in the bin? Each individual has their own reasons (such as being dependent to it) and whatever those reasons are, the world’s health organizations and governments continue to do what they can to keep people away from getting that pack of nicotine.
To warn the people, words were once the best messengers as tobacco companies were required to print text warnings on the sides of cigarette boxes. Later on, it seems like words can’t just easily convince people to shift their ways. The problem made text-only warning messages transform into graphic and perhaps disturbing images.
The Article II of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires parties within three years to require tobacco product warnings to cover at least 30% to 50% of the visible area o a cigarette pack. The provision was first adopted by Canada in 2001.
According to a report issued by the Canadian Cancer Society, 77 countries and territories have finalized picture warnings with Thailand sitting at the top spot for having the largest warnings covering 85% of the back and front packs. Australia was the first country to adopt legislation to require plain packaging despite the trouble it faced against the tobacco industry. The United Kingdom and the United States continue to fight after tobacco companies sued both governments for passing laws that would strip logos and branding from cigarette packages. For the five companies that filed a lawsuit against the US FDA in 2011, the mandate violates the companies right to free speech in the First Amendment. The mandate has yet to be approved by the court.
The countries who have followed WHO’s requirement have their own ways in presenting the photos needed for the packages. Some images aim to touch emotions by indicating real-life experiences while some didn’t mind in showing the world the worst scenarios that could happen if you continue smoking. Let’s travel around the world to see what’s displayed in their markets.
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