20 Feb 2009
Iran’s battle against tobacco consumption took a step forward this month as the country received its first series of cigarette packages with health warning pictures.
The warnings come at an important time as World Health Organization statistics show that smoking rates are rising in Iran, despite the country’s efforts to reduce tobacco consumption since the 1990s.
The pictures cover roughly half of the packaging and show graphic images of the diseases caused by smoking tobacco.
Research manager for the Iranian Anti Tobacco Association Dr Ali Abdolahinia said that pictorial warnings on cigarette packages were one of the most effective ways to convey information about the health impacts of smoking.
“According to a preliminary study performed to assess the initial reactions of Iranian smokers to pictorial health warning labels, more than half of smokers stated a probable decrease or giving up their smoking,” he said.
During the next few months, similar warnings will cover all locally and imported cigarette products in Iran.