Australia Cigarette Packs to Show Graphic Photos

Freakish things and people are plentiful--all over the world.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian smokers will soon have to look at the picture of a cancer-ridden lung or a gangrenous foot missing toes each time they light up.

Following a trend pioneered by Canada, the government said it wants cigarette companies to put graphic pictures and warnings on 30 percent of the front of each pack and 90 percent of the back.

One gruesome photo shows a color cross-section of a diseased lung. Another shows a blackened foot missing a toe and the rest twisted. "Smoking causes peripheral vascular disease," it reads. A third shows a dissected, bloodied brain with the caption, "Smoking doubles your risk of stroke."

"The experience in Canada showed there was a three percent drop in smoking," Trish Worth, parliamentary secretary for health, told reporters. Canada introduced the warnings and pictures of diseased organs in late 2000.

But Australian cigarette makers say the move will not alter smoking patterns, and one called it a desperate tactic.

Health Minister Tony Abbott said cigarette companies would have 18 months to make the changes once the government announces them officially.


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