Jordan: New picture warnings

Jan 12, 2011

New graphic images depicting the negative impact of smoking on health will soon be dominating cigarette packets across the country, according to health officials.

Four images featuring lung and lip cancers and stained teeth will be printed on 50 per cent of one side of each cigarette packet under an initiative spearheaded by the health ministry to highlight diseases related to smoking.

“The warning images will also include a pregnant woman smoking to highlight the risks associated with smoking during pregnancy,” Bassam Hijjawi, director of the ministry’s disease control department, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.

He added that the unsightly images will be featured on all tobacco products within the next six months, noting that the initiative was delayed by logistical issues.

Last year, the health ministry studied the possibility of enlarging the graphic warning printed on tobacco packets from 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

“Such a move requires a lot of money and effort from tobacco companies…we should be patient,” he said, stressing that such warning graphics have shown significant results in other countries as these images reduce the appeal of cigarettes.

“This is why a lot of tobacco companies have resorted to giving away free leather cases to hide the images,” Hijjawi said, indicating that Jordan was the first country in the region to put warning graphics on cigarette packets.

Under its adoption of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), in 2006 the Kingdom obliged local tobacco companies to include an image of diseased lungs on cigarette packs as an additional warning against the dangers of smoking.

The image occupies one-third of one side of a cigarette packet, while a written warning against smoking covers a third of the other side.

The FCTC, the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organisation (WHO), was adopted by the World Health Assembly on May 21, 2003 and entered into force on February 27, 2005. It currently has 166 member parties, according to the WHO.

Article 9 of the convention requires state parties to develop and enforce measures to regulate the contents and emissions of tobacco products, while Article 10 stipulates adopting and implementing measures to require tobacco product manufacturers to disclose the contents and emissions of their products to authorities, in addition to making this information publicly available.


Source: The Jordan Times (January 12, 2011)