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Warning images, TV advertisements on health risks of smoking to go starting Friday

Warning images, TV advertisements on health risks of smoking to go starting Friday

Smoking kills. It’s not something we don’t already know but
apparently not effective in discouraging people from lighting up. Starting Friday, TV ads of tobacco companies
will carry testimonials from victims of the deadly habit and cigarette packages must feature
graphic images of warning. Oh Jung-hee shows us Korea’s latest anti-smoking
campaign. Tobacco companies in Korea will have to add
a new element to cigarette packs starting Friday: images and messages warning of the
health risks of smoking. Korea joins another 18 countries that have
mandatory warning images on cigarette packaging. According to the health ministry, those countries
have seen smoking rates drop by an average of 4 percent… with Brazil’s dropping by
almost 14-percent. Because it takes about a month for cigarettes
to reach the shops in Korea… the new packs won’t appear in stores until late January. But so the public can get a look at the new
packaging, six stores in Seoul’s busier districts, including Gangnam and Hongdae, will display
them starting Friday. TV advertisements, too, will start airing
Friday evening. One features a man who smoked for 32 years
and kicked the habit three years ago after being diagnosed with oral cancer. He had to have his tongue and lymph nodes
removed. He tells the viewer; if he could go back,
he would never have smoked. “Through these measures and other planned
initiatives,… the government hopes to reduce the male smoking rate… from nearly 40-percent
in 2015… to under 30-percent in 2020.” But smokers are skeptical. Some say their habit is too strongly fixed. Others say they’re already desensitized to
the images, having seen them plenty of times abroad. “Those who smoke will keep smoking. I’ve been smoking for the last two years and
have tried several times to quit, but it’s not easy. Those images are gross, of course,.. but they’re
not enough to actually make people give it up.” “Some people might quit, but only a few. I’m sure seeing those images won’t enable
me to break the habit. We smokers already know the health risks. I think it’ll have an effect of some kind…
but quitting isn’t easy.” The measures are in line with the government’s
decision last year to raise cigarette prices by roughly 1 U.S. dollar and 60 cents. Though with most smokers skeptical,… it
remains to be seen what effect, if any, these anti-smoking measures will have. Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.

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