Smokers undeterred by gruesome images on packs
Those who decide not to puff are swayed by health reasons, not visuals, ST poll finds
A recent study in Britain found that graphic warnings on cigarette packs do not deter young smokers. Singaporeans say they could have told the British that.
Nearly all of the 100 people polled by The Sunday Times last week were not surprised by the findings. Smokers said they were not put off by the gory images on cigarette packs, and non-smokers said they chose not to smoke for health reasons and not because of the sight of diseased body parts.
Graphic images first appeared on cigarette packs here in August 2004, making Singapore the third country in the world to have them after Canada and Brazil, said Mr Chris Cheah, deputy director of substance abuse at the Health Promotion Board (HPB). But the pictures of blackened teeth, diseased lungs and a stroke victim's clotted brain, among others, do little to scare off smokers, said those polled.
"The pictures don't scare me, I'm aware of what I'm getting myself into," said auditor Low Read Learn, 28, who has been smoking for a year.
"The whole fear factor concept does not work. The more people see it, the less effective it will be."
Psychologist DANIEL KOH