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Anti-smoking Measure Welcomed


Wednesday 1 October 2008


The Institute of Cancer Research has welcomed moves by the Department of Health to ensure that graphic picture warnings appear on all cigarette packets to encourage smokers to give up their habit.


Leading environmental cancer researcher Professor David Phillips says international research has indicated that these graphic warnings are successful in reducing smoking.


"Similar graphic images on cigarette packets have been used in Australia and recent studies have shown that these stark images work, particularly in discouraging young people from taking up smoking. Their introduction here will build on the gains made from the recent bans in the UK on smoking in public places."


"Half of all persistent smokers will die prematurely as a result of their habit, but giving up has real health benefits. Current smokers still need help to be persuaded that it is worth quitting, and young people still need to be discouraged from starting in the first place."


The Department of Health announced at the weekend that the UK would be the first EU country to introduce graphic picture warnings to cigarette packets from 1 October.


Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research identified the suspected link between smoking and lung cancer.

Smoking causes more than a dozen forms of cancer, including lung, mouth, throat, bladder, larynx (voice box) and colon.


In the UK, more than 40,000 people die each year of cancers which have been caused by smoking. Up to 90 per cent of lung cancers diagnosed are caused by smoking.


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Media contact:
Sushila Snell, 0207 153 5380 or on [email protected]


Notes to editors:

  • An Australian study, published online in the international journal Addiction in August 2008, concluded that graphic warnings may help reduce smoking among adolescents.
  • The Institute of Cancer Research is Europe’s leading cancer research centre with expert scientists working on cutting edge research. It was founded in 1909 to carry out research into the causes of cancer and to develop new strategies for its prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. For more information visit:
  • The Institute is a charity that relies on voluntary income. The Institute is one of the world’s most cost-effective major cancer research organisations with over 90p in every £ directly supporting research.
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