Warning images suggested on cigarette packs in China

Updated: 2011-11-02 17:38

By Shan Juan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Chinese cigarette packs are advised to have warning images like skulls, blackened teeth or diseased lungs printed on them in the effort to tackle smoking during an activity jointly held Saturday by Beijing Health Education Association and Beijing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Beijing's Chaoyang Park.

Similar images have been already printed on packs of many countries and regions including Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan, based on the requirement of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The images can help enhance the public's awareness of the harmful effects of smoking.

More than 100 billion packs of cigarettes are produced in China every year and the images on the packs will be the largest and most efficient advertising campaign to warn people to avoid smoking.

China has the largest smoking population in the world. According to the statistics from WHO, out of a population of 1.3 billion people, 350 million Chinese are tobacco smokers, a group larger than the entire population of the United States. Furthermore, 740 million nonsmokers who breathe the same air are affected by the secondhand smoke. More than one million people in China die of smoking-related diseases every year and the number will rise to two million by 2020, according to China's Ministry of Health.