Tobacconist Terry Purchall holds up one of the new cigarette boxes yesterday.
Tobacconist Terry Purchall holds up one of the new cigarette boxes yesterday.

An image problem



GRAPHIC health warnings appeared on cigarette packets from yesterday in a bid to reduce smoking nationwide by about two per cent.

The images, including pictures of mouth cancer and also a gangrenous foot caused by peripheral vascular disease, are designed to scare smokers into quitting.

But Cignall Tobacconists owner, Terry Purchall, said the images were an example of bureaucratic nonsense that will not work.

He said the same idea was applied when the Federal Government made health warnings mandatory on cigarette packs. In his opinion, those warnings had not deterred smokers.

"The pictures on the packs are so disgusting with a rotten tongue with a growth on it, and rotting teeth with mouth cancer," Mr Purchall, a non-smoker, said.

"It's all false advertising and there are so many untruths scientif- ically as electricity can cause cancer along with pollution and you don't see the government do anything about that."

The Australian Medical Association president, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, said the visual impact of the images would hopefully deter new smokers.

Meanwhile, the Reverend Fred Nile MLC has proposed a ban on smoking in cars.

The ban was introduced to State Parliament as a private members' bill, and a parliamentary inquiry into its feasibility could be called.

However, the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, said he would only consider a blanket ban if it was enforceable.

"We wouldn't oppose an inquiry, but I'd question whether it would be practical and enforceable and whether it would achieve the desired outcome to have such a mea- sure," he said.



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