Rauchen kann t�dlich sein


swisssmoke.jpgThe Swiss have tightened regulations of cigarrette labels and other tobacco products. I'm not certain whether health officials in the Swiss and EU governments seriously think these hideous labels will be effective in deterring smoking:

The revision of the tobacco ordinance comes into force on November 1. But manufacturers have 18 months to comply for cigarettes and 30 months for other tobacco products. This is to give them time to sell existing stock.

Health warnings, such as �Smoking can affect sperm and reduces fertility�, �Smoking causes fatal lung cancer� and �Smoking during pregnancy harms the health of your child�, will be carried in the three official languages � German, French and Italian.

They will appear on the front of each packet in big, black letters and take up a third of the space. Another warning will occupy 50 per cent of the back of each packet...

The government is also considering whether packets should carry colour photos of diseased lungs, as is already the case in Canada.

Even if you support government intrusions into private health concerns, you know that these labels are ridiculous, and do little if anything to lower the cost any existing externalities.

See also this Google translated version of a Der Spiegel article, which notes that the EU is spending 72 million Euros on a new anti-smoking campaign, and has some pretty nasty pictures of what smoking can do to you.


In Canada it is now to the point where pictures of rotting teeth, tar-filled lungs and other various damaged body parts are put on the packages.

I saw an article recently where it was claimed that the effect on purchases by smokers was virtually nil.

I'm trying to find the article but it may be beyond the seven day limit on free newspaper article searches.

Hi Kevin, pardon me?

Warning Labels on Cigarettes packs is
"government intrusions into private health concerns"?

How can Public Health be a "private" matter?
Most smokers smoke everywhere, not just in their private homes. And when you smoke in presence of a nonsmoker, you seriously damage or even kill him.

Is preventing murder a "private matter" ? I dont think so. Smokers are murderers, sorry that you still live in the past and that you're not really up-to-date.


I don't want to get into a public vs. private debate here, because these issues can depend on one's view of private property. The use of the phrase "public health" by doctors, researchers, and officials is meant to trigger moral and legal authority for government money and action, regardless of the extent of network effects or communicability.

Needless to say, a man smoking alone in his own home, or in the middle of a park, is not creating a public health hazard. I regard a parent smoking in a home in front of children as a major problem, but this is "family health" not "public health". I think the distinction is important, as "public health" problems can have very different patterns, causes, and solutions...

I agree that long-term persistent exposure to second-hand smoke -- in a closed room or in the womb -- will increase health risks. But occassional exposure of a healthy person to second-hand smoke is not known to be deadly, and will barely increase your risk of health problems -- if at all. Doctors like to say any second-hand smoke is too much, but that's like saying riding shotgun in a compact car brings too much risk on the passenger.


Powered by Movable Type 5.02

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on October 27, 2004 11:39 AM.

Computers for Free & No Accountants! was the previous entry in this blog.

Terrorism and Poverty is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.