Opinion: Cigarettes

POSTED: 01/14/14 12:44 PM

That smoking kills is a bit of a no brainer. Everybody knows it and addicted smokers could not care less. The cigarette packages we see in our supermarkets have already rather gruesome messages on them. But in Australia, they have taken things a step further: packaging is now so awful, that the brand name of the cigarettes has become a minor detail.

Australians now buy their cigarettes in olive green packages with the most gruesome images ever produced to get the anti-smoking message across. Of course, we would not deny anyone the right to her or his own choice of voluntary euthanasia, and we have been baffled for years that governments allow a product on the market knowing darn well that it kills consumers by the thousands every year.

The Australians seem to make some headway now, because after the introduction of their latest version of fear-mongering packaging in 2012, the number of phone calls to Quitline, an organization that helps people to stop smoking, has increased by 78 percent.

The study that claims these figures was published in the Medical Journal of Australia yesterday. Unfortunately, reports about the study do not immediately indicate how many people actually stopped smoking.

The gruesome packages have images of body parts that have been affected by smoking as well as pictures of children and even babies that became ill due to the smoking habits of their parents.

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