Do picture warnings really discourage smoking?
Today is “World No Tobacco Day”. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) the theme of World No Tobacco Day 2009 is “Tobacco Health Warnings”, with an emphasis on the picture warnings that have been shown to be particularly effective at making people aware of the health risks of tobacco use and convincing them to quit.
More and more countries are fighting back against the epidemic of tobacco by requiring that packages of tobacco show the dangers of the product’s use, as called for in guidelines to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Whenever I travel I always ask the hotel to book me a room on a No Smoking floor, and they usually oblige. Of course in Pakistan it doesn’t really matter if it is a No Smoking room, or a No Smoking floor. People who stay at the hotel end up smoking in the room regardless. This leads to inconvenience and suffering for those of us who are allergic to cigarette smoke because, no matter how much the room and the linen is washed and cleaned, the smell is somehow embedded in the rugs and curtains and pillows. I have often returned from one of my domestic trips wheezing and suffering from the after-effects of passive smoke.
You can imagine how delighted I was therefore when I checked into the Pathumwan Princess Hotel in Bangkok and saw this sign:
I had heard of Non-Smoking flights but this was the first time I had come across a Non-Smoking hotel. God bless them. Lovely hotel. Great service and totally smoke free (other than a small Smoking room opposite the Bar in the lobby, where smokers were banished to indulge their unhealthy habit). Maybe that will discourage them! Probably not.
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