DoH in consultation over cigarette packet images

The Department of Health is asking the public to decide which warning pictures should appear on cigarette packs.

A national and regional media campaign is inviting the public to visit and pick the images they find most off-putting.

Pictures include dead bodies on mortuary slabs and a decaying mouth and teeth. The 14 most voted-for images will appear on cigarette packs from autumn 2007. The website survey is the first phase of a wider consultation, which will later involve liaison with stakeholders such as anti-smoking charities, and focus groups. The consultation process ends on 25 August.

The 42 gruesome images were created by the European Commission. The EC’s Labelling Directive in 2001 decreed that the commission would enforce the use of colour images on cigarette packs to depict the health consequences of smoking.

*Jackie Powell has been hired as interim head of comms research at the DoH until Alexia Clifford’s return from maternity leave next month.

Powell takes the role from Julie Hollings, who has become director of comms at the Royal College of Physicians (PRWeek, 19 May), and will be supported by Julia Clark, currently on secondment from MORI.

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