Aussie Researchers Reckon Placing Warnings On Individual Cigarettes Could Help Reduce Smoking
Over the years, there have been loads of initiatives introduced to Australia to try and stop people from smoking.
There have been numerous tax increases, making a pack of 25 cigarettes cost more than $40 in some cases, there have been several advertising campaigns, new laws to stop people smoking in public places, and plain packaging on ciggie packets to warn people about what they're doing.
These measures have been successful, in the most part, with rates of smoking down to around 12 per cent of the population according to statistics done in 2016. That's down from 14 per cent in the year before, meaning national smoking rates are slowly declining.
But researchers from James Cook University reckon there's another step we can take to really drive home the message that cigarettes are killing people.
They believe that installing messages on individual cigarettes could tip more people into quitting.
Tobacco researcher Dr Aaron Drovandi said: "Improving the quality and volume of information that is out there is vital in ensuring that young people - who are very much the target market for cigarette companies - are deterred from smoking, and current smokers are aware of the danger.
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"Effective alternative warnings relating to tobacco use, such as the 'minutes of life lost' per cigarette and the financial consequences of smoking can be printed onto individual cigarettes. This not only delivers key information on smoking, but also makes the cigarette less appealing."
James Cook University mocked up possible messages on the ciggies, which focus on how much the habit costs, how detrimental it is to your health and even a timeline on how much you wipe off your life expectancy.
Dr Drovandi said they also thought of having the national quitting hotline 13 QUIT printed on the cigarettes as well, as a way to be proactive rather than just shame people out of kicking the addiction.
He told 10 daily: "The majority of smokers do want to quit, but because it's an addiction, it's very hard to do so. But some don't want to quit, no matter what, and they don't view the graphic images effectively," he said.
"Younger people and non-smokers do tend to have that shock reaction to graphic images, but the older smokers are a bit more jaded, the warnings don't seem to faze them.
"Focusing on younger people, who haven't smoked, might be the best way to help public health."
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Featured Image Credit: James Cook University