Picture warnings on tobacco

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day and the theme this year is Tobacco Health Warnings, with a focus on picture warnings.

The message from the World Health Organization is that health warnings on tobacco packages that combine text and pictures are one of the most cost-effective ways to increase public awareness of the serious health risks of tobacco use and to reduce tobacco consumption.

The Tobacco Law 2008 does not stipulate the format for warnings on tobacco products distributed and sold in the Cayman Islands, just that there be health warnings.

Health warnings have been displayed on tobacco products for many years and increasingly these include a graphic image. Pictures can convey messages to individuals who cannot read and are effective at motivating behavioral changes and communicating the many health risks of tobacco products.

On this World No Tobacco Day, the Society is appealing to the Government of the Cayman Islands to require pictorial warnings on tobacco products distributed and sold in the Cayman Islands, by stipulating this in the Regulations to the Act. A picture is worth a thousand words delivering a message that everyone can understand.

In observing World No Tobacco Day 2009, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society congratulates the legislators that passed the Tobacco Act 2008 and looks forward to its complete enactment in October. The Society pledges to work with the leaders of the Cayman Islands to make every day a no tobacco day and make the Cayman Islands a better and healthier place to live.

The Directors of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society

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