Consumer News

Talking Cigarette Packs One Up Big Tobacco, Warning Smokers Of Health Risks

Tobacco Use
Image REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

If health experts weren't enough, cigarette packs themselves will soon inform smokers about the dangers of tobacco use. Researchers from the University of Sterling have adorned packs of cigarettes with audio clips that warn users about the dangers of smoking.

Crawford Moodie, one of the Stirling team members responsible for the talking cigarette packs, said this innovation is an attempt to dissuade tobacco companies' future marketing schemes. Preliminary tests on women between the ages of 16 and 24 were reportedly successful.

"Tobacco companies may use talking packets in the future as part of marketing," said Moodie.

"This research shows how the idea can be used to promote 'positive health' to smokers."

Audio recordings set to go off upon opening the pack offer one of two warnings to smokers. One informs the user about the health concerns of smoking in relation to fertility. The second suggests a helpline number for those who are looking to quit, Mirrior.co.uk reported.

"The tobacco industry buys a great deal of creative expertise to market its addictive and lethal products to new consumers, mainly young people," said Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Scotland's Action on Smoking and Health.

"I welcome the suggestion that we get more creative to put forward images of good health and freedom from addiction as alternatives to tobacco, and that we start requiring tobacco companies to present the truth to their consumers in more eye-catching ways."

According to the World Health Organization's data, five million tobacco users die each year from smoking while 600,000 nonsmokers die from second-hand smoke. Nineteen countries currently provide national comprehensive health care services supporting those who want to quit.

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