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Forest rejects call for printed health warning on cigarettes

Mon 11th December, 2017

Forest has dismissed a call for a health warning to be printed on the side of each cigarette to deter people from smoking.

Responding to a new study by Cancer Research UK that argues that making the cigarette itself unappealing could reduce smoking rates, Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said:

“We were told that graphic health warnings and plain packaging would make cigarettes less desirable but there’s no evidence that either policy actually works.

“Printing a warning on the cigarette or changing the colour of the stick will achieve nothing other than highlight the failure of existing policies.

“Clumsy and heavy-handed state interventions that rely on scaremongering invariably fail because the health risks of smoking are already well known to teenagers as well as adults.

“If the government wants fewer people to smoke the solution is not to impose more regulations on cigarettes but to encourage existing smokers to switch voluntarily to products like e-cigarettes that provide a safer yet pleasurable alternative.

“Smokers need a carrot not a stick with yet another warning they will almost certainly ignore.”

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