More than 60 percent of Russian smokers say they will not give up their bad habit when grim graphic images depicting the impact of smoking on human health begin appearing on cigarette packs in May 2013, the Superjob.ru research center reported on Saturday.
The Health and Social Development Ministry has published on its website a list of 13 pictures that are to adorn cigarette packs. Visual images range from sick infants to blackened lungs while accompanying warnings including “Self-Destruction,” “Periodontitis” and “Erectile Dysfunction.”
“Most of the smokers – more than 60 percent – said even the most terrifying images on cigarette packs will not prevent them from lighting up. Most smokers know without any reminders that smoking is harmful but continue buying cigarettes,” the research center said.
“If a person wants to smoke, no pictures will make him quit,” said one of those questioned.
Only 15 percent of respondents did not rule out that gruesome images may make them give up smoking.
Russia is the world leader on smoking, with more than 39 percent of the adult populace, or 43.9 million people, addicted to tobacco, according to WHO’s 2007 Global Adult Tobacco Survey.
According to acting Health and Social Development Minister Tatiana Golikova, smoking kills about 400,000 Russians a year.
The Russian government is mounting an anti-smoking campaign which is to include stricter rules on smoking in public places and a drastic increase in cigarette prices through taxation.