Smoking Shock Tactics: diseased lungs, rotting teeth and throat cancer.

Graphic pictures of diseased lungs, rotting teeth and throat cancer will be placed on cigarette packets from next week to show the health dangers of smoking.

As of next week cigarette packets will no longer have the ‘Smoking Kills’ or ‘Smoking harms you and those around you’ messages on their side but a much stronger image: diseased lungs, rotting teeth and throat cancer; will make you end up looking for an emergency dentist Chandler if you live near it.  These are just some of the images that will soon appear on your favouriate brand to get the message of the dangers of smoking across to all.

The messages are obviously there to get the health message across to smokers and there’s a lot of psychology behind them.  But, have the cigarette manufacturers and government gone too far this time?

Yerks-Dodson would have us believe that there’s an optimum level of arousal that will ensure the best effect or best performance on a task.  The messages that currently adorn our cigerette packets have been around since 2003 and almost wash over smokers now, they have habituated to the messages they provide.

The have even become the but of jokes (man: “I just make sure that I get the ’causes low birth weight'”) or even a whole new set of ‘cover-’em-up’ stickers.  Maybe it is time that we have some more shocking messages to inform the smoker of the potential (actual?) dangers of smoking.

Even with the amount of money being spent by the NHS on it’s quit smoking campaigns, not being able to smoke in pubs and bars and many companies not allowing smoking on site over 10 million people still smoke in the UK and it’s estimated that over half of them will die early as a result. The lesser effects of smoking, such as shortness of breath and brown, stained teeth that require bleaching are well known and generally considered by smokers as acceptable risks. Removing these stains are no easy task, it requires a lot of work by professionals like Reflect Clinic. The FDA realease these stamtents last month:

Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said: “I welcome the introduction of picture warnings on tobacco product packaging, which show smokers the grim reality of the effects smoking can have on their health. This will help to maintain the momentum of the increasing number of people who have given up smoking following England going smoke free in 2007.

“Written health warnings have encouraged many smokers to stop smoking. These new stark picture warnings emphasise the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke. I hope they will make many more think hard about giving up, and get the help they need to stop smoking for good.”

Have we gone too far? How do you explain to your child what those pictures are on the side of your fag packet… and it’s always going to be fun going to the news agents now to be faced with a wall of death, cancer and suffering as you pay for your morning paper.

And for those readers who do smoke, a little light-hearted relief from the legend that was Bill Hicks…

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5 Responses to “Smoking Shock Tactics: diseased lungs, rotting teeth and throat cancer.”

  1. Counselling Psychologists Sydney October 8, 2008 at 5:07 am #

    In our opinion scaring people as they go to have a cigarette only increases their anxiety causing them to smoke more and to dissociate the causes. As has been pointed out by other commentators, helping people to manage their anxiety (downregulate) around quitting is a better strategy.

    Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney – Australia

  2. Quit Smoking October 8, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Thanks for this excellent post! As a woman I know that smoking is more harmful to me than it is for men.

  3. Kath Almond October 31, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    I don’t smoke. I am so lucky. But my mum died from Emphysema (she smoked from 14 to her 40’s). My husband has smoked all his life, and now is so short of breath that he cannot walk far. Now my son has just been informed he has COPD. My grandson smokes.
    I couldn’t persuade any of them to stop. I am so lucky?

  4. London Counselling September 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    A vice is something also oblige the person to his or her responsibility in taking the consequences it may cause. Vices are somehow and is most of the time accompanied by sickness, which is unavoidable but can still be put to a halt. Nonetheless, it is always up to the one who does it so that vice can be refrained especially smoking that is widely done by most people

  5. Michelle Gervais August 30, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    One of these pictures is already wrong! 72 % of throat cancers are caused by HPV and are occurring in never smoking people. So the incidence of smoking in the population decrease by half but 40 years later, throat cancer incidence has not decreased.

    All those people who decided not to throw dollars into throat and lung cancer because they believed that smokers were “causing” their own disease and were getting what they deserve served only to condemn never-smokers to a disease where research is now trying to ‘catch-up’. You all got exactly what you deserved!

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