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​Pictures Of Cancer Sufferer’s Face Used On Cigarette Packet Without His Permission

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​Pictures Of Cancer Sufferer’s Face Used On Cigarette Packet Without His Permission

A man was shocked to find out an image of his face had been used on cigarette packets as part of an anti-smoking campaign without his knowledge, let alone consent.

Juvenal Barreto Rodriguez, 74, discovered the photo of his face from when he was undergoing chemotherapy on cigarette packets to try and warn people of the effects of sparking up.

The cigarette packets with Mr Rodriguez's face. Credit: CEN
The cigarette packets with Mr Rodriguez's face. Credit: CEN

The only thing is, Rodriguez says he didn't even get cancer from smoking, claiming it instead came from an insect bite. It's also unclear whether or not he even smokes.

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Rodriguez, who lives in the town of Villeta in the Colombian department of Cundinamarca, was diagnosed with cancer back in 2005 by the National Cancer Institute in Colombia (ESE).

Juvenal Barreto Rodriguez. Credit: CEN
Juvenal Barreto Rodriguez. Credit: CEN

He reportedly had the picture taken when he was being treated with chemotherapy.

He told local media: "Some nurses came to me and they said I was the most willing to have pictures taken."

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Having seen his images used as part of the anti-cancer campaign a while ago, Rodriguez is understandably not best pleased.

He explained how after his photo appeared on the packets, he is now recognised by his neighbours for the image - and is even known as 'the cigarette man'.

Mr Rodriguez is now known by his neighbours as 'cigarette man'. Credit: CEN
Mr Rodriguez is now known by his neighbours as 'cigarette man'. Credit: CEN

However, he maintains that a biopsy revealed his tumour was 'caused by an insect bite' rather than smoking.

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According to local media, the State Council ruled in June 2018 that the Ministry of Health and the Cancer Institute had 'infringed upon the good faith' of Rodriguez.

It also pointed out that the elderly man 'was not informed what the pictures were for,' as he could not read and also has no family.

The Ministry of Health has now agreed to remove Mr Rodriguez's picture from use. Credit: CEN
The Ministry of Health has now agreed to remove Mr Rodriguez's picture from use. Credit: CEN

The Ministry of Health presented a document in which Rodriguez allegedly authorised the use of his image for the campaign called 'Health Warnings (mouth cancer)', but he claims he did not know what he was signing.

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Having explained that he could not read, Rodriguez said: "They made me sign papers from the medical board."

Reports state that the State Council determined that 'officials filled out the form for Juvenal' and an official order was issued last year to remove the picture from the cigarette packets.

However, old packs bearing the image are still being sold.

Featured Image Credit: CEN

Topics: World News, News, Cancer, Smoking

Jess Hardiman
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