Graphics On Cigarette Pack Can Avert Death Rates

Graphics on cigarette pack can avert death rates

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 07th Nov, 2016 ) : A new study said that using prominent, graphic picture on cigarette packs warning against smoking could avert more than 652,000 deaths, up to 92,000 low birth weight infants, up to 145,000 preterm births, and about 1,000 cases of sudden infant deaths in the United States over the next 50 years.

The research undertaken at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first to estimate the effects of pictorial warnings on cigarette packs on the health of both adults and infants in the United States.

Although more than 70 nations have adopted or are considering adopting the World Health Organization's Framework Convention for Tobacco Control to use such front and back of-the-pack pictorial warnings, an example is a Brazilian photo of a father with a tracheotomy, they have not been implemented in the US.

Pictorial warnings have been required by law, but an industry lawsuit stalled implementation of this requirement. Currently, a text-only warning appears on the side of cigarette packs in the US.

Levy and his colleagues, who included investigators at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and the University of South Carolina, looked at changes in smoking rates in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, which have already implement prominent pictorial warning labels (PWLs), said the study published in the journal Tobacco Control.

For example, eight years after PWLs were implemented in Canada, there was an estimated 12 percent -- 20 percent relative reduction in smoking prevalence. After PWLs began to be used in Australia in 2006, adult smoking prevalence fell from 21.3 percent in 2007 to 19 percent in 2008.

After implementation in the UK in 2008, smoking prevalence fell 10 percent in the following year. "The bottom line is that requiring large pictorial warnings would help protect the public health of people in the United States," said researcher Levy.

"There is a direct association between these warnings and increased smoking cessation and reduced smoking initiation and prevalence. That would lead to significant reduction of death and morbidity, as well as medical cost."