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Cigarette packs to go graphic

To carry images of blackened lungs and haemorrhage-impacted brains to dissuade smokers.

  • Previous revamp of the health warning on cigarette packs in September 2007 only required manufacturers to enlaImage Credit: Bloomberg
  • The new warnings about the dangers of tobacco follows in the footsteps of the UK, Canada and Brazil, among othImage Credit:Bloomberg
  • A graphic image warning label reading "Cigarettes Cause Mouth Diseases" on a cigarette box in CanadaImage Credit:Bloomberg
  • French cigarette packets carry written messages warning of the dangers of smoking. Image Credit:AP
  • In Singapore, packets contain disturbing images to get the message across. Image Credit:Adam Flinter/Gulf News
  • A cigarette pack in Thailand shows a picture of a patient suffering from bronchitis in a hospital bed. Image Credit:AP
Gulf News

Dubai: Starting September, tobacco products in the UAE will carry a message and a warning that will be hard to ignore.

Graphics of blackened lungs and a haemorrhage-impacted brain, among others, will provide stark warnings about the dangers on cigarette packs sold in the country, following in the footsteps of the UK, Canada and Brazil.

Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National Tobacco Control Committee, told Gulf News the World Health Organisation (WHO) donated the pictures to the UAE to help with its tobacco control efforts.

"We have received donation of pictures from the WHO. Six months from now, they will be on cigarette packs," she said.

Health officials hope the graphic warning, with its inherent shock value, will help deliver the message better and discourage people to smoke.

Previous revamp of the health warning on cigarette packs in September 2007 only required manufacturers to enlarge the warning text and to make the warning available in English and Arabic.

The graphic warning is one of the many steps the UAE, a signatory of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is taking to clamp down on smoking. A federal anti-smoking daft law is expected to be passed into law soon by the Cabinet and President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan after the Federal National Council (FNC) approved it last month.

The draft law, which has been delayed for more than two years, includes several points in keeping with the FCTC requirements, including restricting advertising and sponsorship, limiting exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, and increasing tobacco prices and tax.

Under the draft law, advertising of tobacco products in all forms of media in the UAE, which includes private television stations, cable networks, newspapers and magazines, will be banned. Violators can expect fines ranging from Dh500,000 to Dh1 million.

Will this initiative help people to stop smoking? Do you think advertising cigarettes plays a major role in encouraging people to smoke?

Your comments

I quit smoking cold turkey 2 months back after smoking for 12 years..Every momenet after that gives me a great feeling of a new life...Just try guys..its easy...Good luck
Vijay Chhabra
Posted: March 04, 2009, 18:01

If cigarettes as bad for the health, why manufacturers still producing it and why in the world cigarettes where created? I think, those concerned people, should start from the producers/manufacturers by banning the company because the rest will follow.
Ivy P Montejo
Posted: March 04, 2009, 17:32

Really very good idea , if anybody worry about your self helth may be he quit smoking . i am also too smking just i seen this pict. i am shock . i will try to quit smoke.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 17:20

I am also smoker, i try to stop it,but failed. When i am not getting cigrates, i will not smoke. Rise the price not valuable. Just Ban the Cigrates in UAE after 2/3 months. ultimately smoker's rate will come down with in 3 months. lot of people will get cure.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 17:11

Why only tobacco, why not step up against cheese, white sugar, and all the other goodies which create problems in the long run
Posted: March 04, 2009, 17:09

I would like to wish NTCC also whoever bring this ideas. Because ideas is very good
al ain,uae
Posted: March 04, 2009, 17:00

I was a chain smoker and now for last 2 years i have stopped smoking. you should have the will power to quit it and when ever you feel like smoking say no i wont no no. it is a kindl of Sucide as smoking is slow poisoning and we are on the same path for sucide.
Irfan Ali
Posted: March 04, 2009, 17:00

Even though i know the effect of smoking i still enjoying. you can not stop someone by post a graphics of blackened lungs on the pack of the cigarette. it was on our system.... it's up to people if they want to stop or not.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 16:49

Good news. This may have impact on new users.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 16:40

A person who is a chain smoker he cannot stop smoking,if we want to save our next generation we have to concentrate on the teen agers how to keep them far from cigerettes.
Abdul Rahman
Posted: March 04, 2009, 16:38

Thats a well decision by the government.This Act will defenitely reduce smoking. Such awareness programme will be considered as an initial step for a smoke free environment.
Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emirates
Posted: March 04, 2009, 16:32

The problem is one of addiction. Horror pix on packs may prevent some people starting to smoke, but is unlikely to wean a current smoker off tobacco. Why not force manufacturers to put at least one tobacco substitute patch or gum in each packet, to introduce smokers to one way of giving up. The rest, unfortunately, is up to the smoker. I'm not a smoker, but if I were I'm sure I wouldn't have the willpower to give up.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 16:18

Nothing is going to change for an active smoker. He would not think about his health but who realy does matter and is concern about his family and his life might think about stopping smoking
Mohammad Tahir
Posted: March 04, 2009, 16:13

If not all would stop smoking, these ads would create good awareness amongst the youngsters who are at a starting stage...
Posted: March 04, 2009, 15:58

I don't think such ads will change anything.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 13:25

I am a chain smoker and badly wish to stop. I tried, too, but couldn't as I am addicted. Posting pictures or increasing the price would have an effect but smokers would not stops smoking. However, an easy way to stop us is to give some treatment for free as there are many... hope this will help us(smokers) to quit.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 13:24

It is absolutely silly. When everyone knows the ill effects of Tobacco why not just BAN IT?
Kiran Karkera
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: March 04, 2009, 13:22

I think the warnings are effective and worthwhile, especially for women and the unborn child which is affected by a mother who smokes. Cigarettes are expensive here in Canada, mostly due to taxes, but then there is a problem with people smuggling them in and the association with organised crime. No easy answer. Governments will not make smoking illegal, but they make it difficult to enjoy a smoke now in so many places. Sales here are illegal to anyone under 19, but no enforcement is done to anyone underage who does smoke.
Brock MacLean
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:51

Yes, this is a good news and I am sure that so many of us will quit because every time you take out a cigerrate you will a look at those wierd lungs.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:40

I hope this will persuade some people to stay away from the smoking...Because smoking causes horrible diseases that result in a lot of pain and loosing a lot of money in treatments...
Mutumba Faisal
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:39

The world should stop manufacturing cigarettes now!
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:26

I come from a place where cigarettes are A LOT more expensive! I agree with the person above---we are plain addicted.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:12

It's not because the people who smoke don't know the consequences. However, some are ignorant too. I don't think that this new step will turn people away from smoking. What I feel is that all tobacco products should be officially banned. This in turn would possibly raise a few questions concerning personal freedom and choice. Apparently, to stop an evil, we have to take drastic measures. Before I conclude, I wish to draw attention of concerned authorities towards the widespread illegal trade of untreated tobacco products like Pan Parag (Ghutka), Goa, Chaini Khani which are equally dangerous like common cigarettes. These products are available at almost all medium sized groceries, stores across the U.A.E.
From A Reader
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:10

Why don't they BAN the cigarettes completely? It would be better than spending so much money on advertisments.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:07

I agree with Stephanie, as printing things on the cigarette packs which say that it is dangerous and still manufacture and sell them is ridiculous. Instead the cigarettes should be totally banned on our planet which will save lives as well as bring down the pollution level.
Loraine D'souza
Posted: March 04, 2009, 12:03

It is appreciated the various steps the government is taking to cease cigarette smoking. However, pictures projecting consequences/diseases caused through smoking will not help 'chain smokers' give up smoking. A large segment of the smoking population are well aware of the grave consequences smoking has on them and as parents on their infants and still persist. There isn't a single benefit one attains from smoking then why aren't cigarettes banned from production?
From A Reader
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: March 04, 2009, 11:16

Yes, I think it will help people to reduce the amounts of cigaratts they smoke, but slowly
Posted: March 04, 2009, 11:14

If these photos are pasted on each cigarette packet then same treatment to be done for Wine or any alcoholic drink, Cola, Ice creams etc. The truth is that excessive use of any eatable thing is injurious to health. For example to eat 1 or 2 mangoes everyday is good but 5 or 6 will be injurious. Therefore, daily a cigarette will not be cause of cancer but daily 5 to 20 will be injurious for health.
Tarek Jaafar
Posted: March 04, 2009, 10:55

Cigarettes should be made illegal altogether.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 10:52

Best idea to deliver the alert message
Nayeem Meraj
Posted: March 04, 2009, 10:50

Appreciated and welcome the ban step taken by FNC in different forms of media, with this at least there will be less admission in this hazardous smoking area specially with regards to the younger generation, who are being encouraged through advertisements.
Haider Mohsin
Posted: March 04, 2009, 10:41

Then why make cigarettes if you do not want people to smoke? I for one do not agree with companies making the cigarettes and then asking the public not to smoke it.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 10:24

Yes, I think these initiatives will help people stop smoking. Advertising is a very powerful way to associate cigarettes with power or beauty or style. Restricting smoking in many places have made people reduce smoking significantly due to the inconvenience of reaching a smoking area nowadays in offices and malls.
Posted: March 04, 2009, 10:03

Printing a photo or even attaching the damaged brain or lung cells themselves wont stop us from smoking. We are addicted. If you want to help provide some solution for addiction. We all hate to smoke but we can't stop!!!
Cap. Abir Elz
Posted: March 04, 2009, 09:30

Yes it will have but if the authorities increase the price to Dh25 for a cigarette pack this will have a tremendous impact on the smokers, as they will think ten times before buying a pack. Smoking in public or private offices should be banned.
John Dmello
Posted: March 04, 2009, 09:01

It is very good news for us and for those who are smoking. It should be counted in drug categeries and will be ban forever as it is not only effecting the smoker's health but also effecting others more than the smoker. Any how it is a good news for all and hope that the sellers will be realising that and stop the sale of tobacco products because maybe they will gain little profit and in return will give a big lose.
Nazir Aridi
Posted: March 04, 2009, 08:56

Its good!!
Posted: March 04, 2009, 08:48

No. I dont think that ads force people to smoke. first we should try to know more about the disadvatages of smoking and we must control our my opinion more awareness bout the effects of smoking must be given to people through ads and newspapers..... I think the graphics will help upto some extent.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: March 04, 2009, 08:44

I think it will help but not much. I have a friend who smokes. He once told me, "I know its bad for health and I should stop, but I still want it and don't have the desire to do so." - we won't be able to help people who don't want to help themselves. This world won't change unless we begin with ourselves.
From A Reader
Posted: March 04, 2009, 08:42

Everyone knows cigarettes are dangers, so why are they allowed for sale.
Jamal Nomani
Posted: March 04, 2009, 08:30

If it does not kill you... It makes you stronger?
Posted: March 04, 2009, 06:49