I have often been amazed by the steps taken to prevent people from smoking and I have found two gadgets to keep people from the habit quite fascinating: A year’s worth of tar and Smoking Sue.

It now seems that the Danish government wants to play hardball. For quite some time smokers have been used to having warning signs on packages stating that cigarettes are dangerous and potentially deadly. I find it surprising to what extent even the size and font of the letters of the warning are regulated by law. Here’s a quote from § 10:”The general warning […] must cover 30 pct. of the surface of the relevant side.” And a bit further down in § 11, part 1: “Printed in black, bold characters in font Helvetia on white background.” Here taken from the Danish law regulating tobacco.

There is just something fascinating about public health in the language of bureaucrats. One can imagine how the fight over the exact percentage has been waged and a compromise made.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because the Danish government has just proposed putting images on cigarette packages. Pictures that show what smoking will do to you. And they are quite nasty as one can see from this article in the Danish newspaper Politiken. I know that this is practised in other countries also (take a look at these from Brazil but be warned – they are really disgusting), but I’m really in doubt as to the effect of these images. Do they really work?

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