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Queensland researchers say, anti-smoking warnings 'lose shock value'

Photo: Anti-smoking warnings 'lose shock value'
Graphic images of black lungs, rotten teeth and cancerous mouths on cigarette packaging have lost their shock value, Queensland researchers say.

Researchers want health warnings printed on each and every cigarette as the shocking, graphic images printed on packets aren't convincing smokers to quit.

A new Queensland study has recommended individual cigarettes be printed with warnings, including how many minutes of life smokers will lose as they puff.

James Cook University's Aaron Drovandi, who led the research, said images of black lungs, rotten teeth and cancerous mouths on cigarette packaging had lost their shock value.
"Improving the quality and volume of information that is out there is vital in ensuring that young people, who are very much the target market for cigarette companies, are deterred from smoking, and current smokers are aware of the danger," Dr Drovandi said.

Researchers questioned more than 2000 people on the effectiveness of anti-smoking warnings.

Dr Drovandi said messages on individual cigarettes, which could also target the financial consequences of smoking, were more effective than package warnings.

He said warnings around short-term health and non-health related consequences of tobacco use were more likely to prompt positive changes in smoking behaviour.

Australian law forces tobacco companies to display health warnings on packaging to outline the harms caused by smoking.

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