Graphic warnings in Malta

Oct 21, 2009

Graphic images highlighting the dangers of smoking will soon be displayed on all tobacco products sold in Malta, director general of public health Ray Busuttil revealed on Tuesday.

A legal notice announcing the new regulations on tobacco packaging is expected to be issued by the end of this month, Dr Busuttil said at a press conference on EU anti-smoking campaign Help.

Health Promotion Department director Charmaine Gauci said that statistics showed that although the prevalence of smoking in Malta has been decreasing in recent years, the reverse was true among schoolchildren.

Dr Gauci noted that the smoking did not only adversely affect the lungs, but also presented numerous other problems. These include a greater susceptibility to infection, including, among others, to the pandemic H1N1 flu, she pointed out.

Stephen D’Alessandro, explaining the Help campaign, noted that addressing smoking among the young was a prime concern. Since peer pressure might pressure young people to smoke, the campaign has to address the perception that smoking is desirable, he said.

The second Help campaign, launched last May, follows the footsteps of the first campaign, which ran from 2005 to 2008, in targeting the young, illustrating the absurdity of smoking through humorous TV spots while leading them to the campaign website,, where serious advice is provided.

Its message aims to address 3 main objectives: prevention, cessation and passive smoking.

This time round, the campaign aims to be more interactive, inviting people to submit their own video tips on its website. In addition, young people have not only been the primary target of the campaign, but they have also participated in the strategy and development of the campaign.


Full article: DI-VE News (October 20, 2009)