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Society

Cyprus Plans Graphic Smoking Ads

NICOSIA – The Cypriot government hopes to convince people to stop smoking by requiring graphic images on packages of cigarettes.

A bill to amend anti-smoking legislation is being prepared by the Ministry of Health to require the pictures that have been described as gruesome warnings about what smoking causes in humans.

“We are waiting for the legislation which the Ministry of Health is preparing at the moment and soon after that we are going to vote on it,” Health Care Committee member Adamos Adamou told the Cyprus Mail.

The new law follows a 2014 EU directive on the ingredients and packaging of cigarettes and also prohibits products which have a characteristic taste and aroma such as those which taste or smell of fruits or chocolate as well as for filters and cigarette paper as well.

Additional ingredients like caffeine or giving the impression of added health like vitamins will also not be allowed under the new law.

The EU says studies have found that tobacco products or their packaging could mislead consumers, in particular young people, where they suggest that these products are less harmful.

Currently, 30 percent of the external area of a cigarette pack must be covered by a verbal general warning about the health dangers of smoking but the new law will make it 65 percent and show the dangers of passive and second-hand smoke on children.

Other images will portray the health effect on smokers themselves, depicting photographs of people with lung and mouth cancer, the newspaper said.

The packages also have to include information about the levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide and ways to stop smoking.

One smoker, Monica Demetriou, told The Mail that the government must try everything to stop people from smoking, especially young people. “Even if it is shocking, they must do it” she said.

But another Cypriot, Panayiotis Iacovides said that he disagreed. “The nanny state should stop trying to control everything we do.” He added: “Why do we target only smokers? Why not have pictures of diseased livers on wine bottles?”

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