Home > Safety & Health > A picture is worth *cough* a thousand words…

A picture is worth *cough* a thousand words…

May 27, 2006

“The public are being asked to choose a series of picture warnings to appear on cigarette packets beginning next year. People can give their opinion on a range of images designed to highlight the dangers of smoking on a website set up by the Department of Health.

Evidence shows that images have a greater impact than written health warnings alone, and they have already been introduced in some countries. “
- BBC News: Graphic images deter smokers

Two thoughts:  First, this campaign is much better than banning cigarettes.  Just get the facts out there and let people decide.  From a government perspective, you can’t save every individual from their own bad choices, so it’s better to preserve freedom and avoid creating a black market (which would surely happen).

Second, this is the right way to convey the message.  As design guru Don Norman says, “Signs don’t work” because people don’t read them.

Categories: Safety & Health
  1. May 27, 2006 at 09:51 | #1

    This approach has worked very well in Canada, as part of the overall government strategy.  This weekend is the last gasp (!) for Quebec smokers, as smoking in all public places is outlawed beginning Monday, I believe.  Quebec has traditionally been a bastion of smokers, but the percentage of non-smokers in Quebec has risen to around 80%.  State-wide or province-wide regulations are better than local/municipal regulations.

  2. May 27, 2006 at 10:07 | #2

    the gotdam government never ceases to amaze me! If people quit smoking where would the states and cities get their sin taxes from? And the Feds get a pretty good chunk of bucks from tobacco also. I don’t smoke—had to quit because cigarettes were destroying my lungs. But smoking was my choice and any one who smokes today and denies that that smoking is not harming their health is in some damn serious denial. But that doesn’t mean that smoking or tobacco should be outlawed by government. It is a matter of personal choice and taking responsibility for that choice.

  3. May 27, 2006 at 10:34 | #3

    LOL!  Actually, the reduced health care costs, improved productivity through a drastic reduction in work days lost, and general well-being will far outstrip lost tax revenue.  Expand your thinking a bit, guyk, and you’ll see the glass is half-full … or more!

  4. May 28, 2006 at 04:18 | #4

    I’m not sure if it will make a difference but hope it does.

    I’m an ex-occasional-smoker but I still sometimes stand at the tobacco kiosk for other things and see all those words “kill” and “death” and wonder that people become immune and no longer see them or the warning.

  5. zilch
    May 29, 2006 at 09:01 | #5

    “It is a matter of personal choice and taking responsibility for that choice.”- GUYK
    Fair enough, with two stipulations:  the tax on tobacco should be high enough that it at least covers all the public costs, including health care, sick leave losses, street cleaning, fires, etc. (pretty hard to reckon exactly); and smoking should be forbidden in public places.  It’s a drug habit- why should I have to partake of secondhand smoke against my will?

  6. May 30, 2006 at 09:26 | #6

    If a doctor says and the government backs it up it has to be true. I smoke, I like to smoke, so fuch all of ya. I think all you overweight cows should pay a tax for every pound your over the govenment standard. Your fat ass is costing me tax dollars and does exactly the same thing that you claim smoking does to the American dream. Think about it retards, anything else you want your government to run in your life for the good of people. Tell ya what how about a law that forbids smoking, high fat food, alchol, sex without marriage,etc,etc.

  7. Eryka
    May 30, 2006 at 12:30 | #7

    Haha that’s like at the orthodontists office when you first get braces.
    “Now make sure to take care of them or it’ll look like this.”
    “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

  8. May 30, 2006 at 17:20 | #8

    I have no problem with a tax on non-genetic obesity!      :lol:

  9. May 30, 2006 at 17:22 | #9

    Oh, and james… it’s “you’re” not “your over…”  And I won’t call you a retard.  But ya need to go back to school.

  10. May 31, 2006 at 07:08 | #10

    Wee, thanks for the english 101 and the suggestion. I was a math major not an english major.

  11. May 31, 2006 at 20:32 | #11

    I was a biology major, chemistry minor.

  12. zilch
    June 1, 2006 at 01:59 | #12

    I was a music major, paleontology minor, and seeing all the bones of dinosaurs that died from inhaling toxic gas kept me away from tobacco…

  13. June 1, 2006 at 06:26 | #13

    Is that a ‘Far Side’ reference?  (Gary Larson suggested it was smoking that really killed the dinosaurs)

  14. June 1, 2006 at 07:05 | #14

    What is the Calvin & Hobbes theory?  Is there a paleontolgist in the house?

  15. June 1, 2006 at 07:22 | #15

    Unless S.J. Gould stops by, that would be Zilch. 

    If I remember correctly, Watterson stays pretty much with the K/T boundary theory.  Always wished he’d do a good (semi-)serious dinosaur book, with Calvin as narrator.

  16. zilch
    June 3, 2006 at 13:47 | #16

    Thanks for the flattering comparison, DoF, but I’m just an enthusiastic amateur.
    The toxic gas I was referring to was not tobacco, but the volcanic gas ejected by the eruptions triggered by the impact of all those thetans.

  17. June 6, 2006 at 15:27 | #17

    I think people should be able to decide their own destiny. If people want to do drugs that’s their choice not mine or the governments.  But it certainly sucks that my tax dollars go towards someone’s addiction.

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