Following the example of the European Union and other states around the world, the Canadian federal government plans on placing graphic images on cigarettes packs to send a clear message to smokers regarding the dangers of smoking. According to a focus group, the new approach is practical.
One image shows a man holding a colostomy bag and reads “You may need to use a bag as a toilet for the rest of your life.” In another image, there is a woman with a cigarettes burning in her bladder.
Also, a third image will show a man with an “Out of order” sign on his lower body, referring to potential infertility in men triggered by smoking.
The new graphic images on cigarettes packs are meant to send a clear message to smokers, namely, that smoking can negatively impact other organs than lungs, too.
The new health warnings on cigarettes packs depict that, besides lung cancer, smoking can cause colorectal and stomach cancers, along with cardiovascular conditions and oral diseases.
New Canadian federal government’s decision to add graphic images on cigarettes packs deemed practical by some focus groups
The government called for a few focus groups to estimate the efficiency of the new graphic images on cigarettes packs. The focus groups formed in Halifax, Toronto, Quebec City, and Vancouver.
Participants, aged 15 to 19, young smokers, as well as adult smokers, were demanded to answer a questionnaire regarding 39 health warnings the government planned to add on cigarettes packs across Canada.
According to these focus groups, the cliche messages and broader ones are not effective. Among these messages, there are “Smoked to death” and “Thought you would only try it once?”
“Smokers don’t really like the cute, rhyming taglines and I think part of it is they recognize this isn’t a jingle for a product you buy from the store. This is a serious issue about their health, and that’s why they tend to gravitate toward the straightforward, less jingly type of information,” said David Hammond from the school of public health at the University of Waterloo.