Pakistan: Pictorial warnings having an impact

September 9, 2011

The pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs is proving effective as smokers are now facing a tough opposition from their families in continuing their smoking habit.

The picture of half-cut mouth on the cigarette pack gives a very bad feeling. Now, instead of keeping a cigarette pack in my pocket, I buy only two or three cigarettes whenever I have the urge for smoking. This way, I have cut down my daily intake of cigarettes, said Hafeez Ahmed, a teacher on Sunday.

Hafeez said he used to smoke almost 20 sticks a day but due to constant resistance from his wife and daughter, he is avoiding to keep with him cigarette packet.

Another smoker, Ayaz Gul, running a shop in Islamabad, said that he has not yet stopped smoking after the implementation of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs, but for the very first time in his life he was seriously thinking about quitting smoking.

I am trying to reduce the number of cigarettes that I smoke every day in a bid to stop this bad habit, he added.

Taking out a cigarette from a pack which is bluntly telling you its consequences is just like preparing to commit suicide, said Raja Niaz, a labourer.

He said that he was also a smoker, but he quit smoking after contracting chest infection. Some smokers are thinking about quitting smoking, a few have bought fancy cigarette cases to avoid the wrath of their family members.

A cigarette kiosk owner at Super Market said people, especially young smokers, demand a stylish cigarette case, adding that many people also ask for old cigarette packs as they dislike the new packing whose 30 percent is covered with horrifying pictures.

While families of smokers are appreciative of Ministry of Health which they said has done a remarkable job by implementing the new graphical warnings on cigarette packs.

A wife of a smoker said that she has started a movement in her house, along with children to compel her husband to quit smoking.

The pictures on cigarette packs have compelled me to do so for the sake of health of my husband. Life of my husband is very important for the entire family and I just want that he should quit smoking to avoid risks of fatal diseases, she added.

Source: The News International (September 3, 2011)