WARNING: This post contains very graphic images.
The Brazilian Health Ministry recently released new pictures that will illustrate the entire backside of cigarrette (and cigar) packs, as well as point-of-sale advertisements. Brazil has had those for a few years, following a George Washington University study showing that the more graphical and bigger the warning, the greater the inhibitting effect it has on the smoker. The messages on tobacco products in the U.S. faired pretty poorly because of their little size, with no pictures.
The old warnings were already very graphical, but the new ones go further. According to the health ministry, the new warnings were designed after studies and targeted straight at the youth, who the ministry says is constantly targeted by tobacco companies.
The new campaign focused in the following areas, with a different picture to illustrate each area: victims of tobacco, gangrene, death, heart attack, toxic smoke, suffering, erectile dysfunction, danger.
The twenty-year-old program to reduce smoking has had positive results. In 1989 the smoking population was 34.8%. In 2003 it was down to 22,4%, and the last survey in state capitals, 16% of the population above 18 years of age. Given that Brazil is the biggest producer and exporter of tobacco products, such government indepedence and action in the public interest is very welcome.
What is your reaction to these pictures?