EU fight against tobacco continues with graphic picture warnings and € 72 million media campaign

Brussels, 22-10-2004 The EU is intensifying its fight against tobacco. At a press conference in Brussels today David Byrne, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, announced a € 72 million EU media campaign against smoking and unveiled new hard hitting picture warnings for cigarette packs. The new anti-smoking drive follows the success of the EU�'s 2002 to 2004 campaign, "Feel free to say no" (see IP/04/323), which told young Europeans "be cool - don�'t smoke", achieving some 1 billion contacts with them and partnering the EU with footballers and music stars. The picture warnings unveiled by Mr. Byrne include graphic photographs of rotten lungs (caption: "Smoking causes fatal lung cancer") a dead body in a mortuary (caption: "Smokers die younger") and a man with a large tumour on his throat (caption: "Smoking can cause a slow and painful death"). They form part of a database of 42 images designed for use in combination with the hard hitting health warnings introduced EU-wide in 2003 (see IP/03/1213). EU countries who so wish will be able to use the pictures to add impact to their health warnings. The Commission expects picture warnings to be introduced in a number of countries next year, including Ireland and Belgium.

Commissioner Byrne said: "People need to be shocked out of their complacency about tobacco. I make no apology for some of the pictures we are using. The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror - not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray. The EU must hammer home this message to young people via its media campaign and to smokers via their cigarette packs."

cross-reference: photo is available at:


Further information

FEEL FREE TO SAY NO campaign: www.feel-free.info

Copies of the new picture warnings:


For more information on EU tobacco control policies:


Caroline Navarro

Wassergasse 3

D-10179 Berlin

Tel: +49 (0)30 65 000 313

Fax: +49 (0)30 65 000 150

Email: c.navarro@media-consulta.com