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World No Tobacco Day to Call for Graphic Package Warnings

Washington, D.C., May 27, 2009 (PAHO/WHO) - Tobacco control advocates will launch an appeal for governments around the world to require pictorial warnings on cigarette packs and other tobacco packaging to graphically illustrate the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use.

One of the World No Tobacco Day 2009 postersThe call to action will come on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, May 31. This year's campaign focuses on decreasing tobacco use by increasing public awareness of its dangers.

Effective health warnings, especially those that include pictures, have been proven to motivate users to quit and to reduce the appeal of tobacco for those who are not yet addicted. Studies carried out after the implementation of pictorial package warnings (warnings using pictures and text) in Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Thailand show that pictorial packaging is effective at communicating risk and motivating behavioral changes, such as quitting or reducing tobacco consumption.

Currently, only 10 percent of the world's population live in countries that require warnings with pictures on tobacco packages.

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