The Canadian Health Department has introduced the world’s most graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging, confronting Canuck smokers with colour photographs of internal organs suffering from tobacco-related diseases.

The photos, which must cover 50% of the packet, include a cancer-ridden lung, a brain that has suffered a stroke and a diseased heart. To ram home the message, another warning features a drooping cigarette alongside a note about tobacco-induced impotence. For determined smokers who make it past the outer packaging, there will also be further, more detailed health warnings inside.

Tobacco companies resorted to court over the proposed government measures, unsuccessfully claiming they would be too difficult to print on the packets and leave no room for their own trademarks.

The results of the initiative will be keenly watched around the world, especially in Europe where similar measures are being considered.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)