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In the U.S., tobacco companies are required to print text warnings on cigarette packages, where the surgeon general gets a small chunk of space to peddle his/her dry warnings regarding the grim dangers of smoking, such as, “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.”

It’s almost as though these warnings are designed to be ignored. Perhaps this is because the tobacco industry, while harmful to consumers, makes for some pretty potent economy fertilizer. Not that I’m suggesting the U.S. government would put its citizens in harm’s way for its own benefit. Cough.

Other governments around the world are taking a remarkably less sissy approach to informing smokers of the health risks, in some cases covering over 50% of the package surface with images of tumors, premature babies, sexually troubled couples, et cetera ad nauseum. In grocery lines, smokers and non-smokers alike are confronted with these queasiness-inducing photographs which peer out the cigarette racks.

Speaking personally, I think smoking is a valid lifestyle choice when the smoker is fully aware of the health risks involved, and so long as they don’t allow their habit to adversely effect the health of others. Though some of the images on the linked page are a bit extreme, I doubt they are very effective for people who already smoke… they’re probably meant to persuade someone who is considering the habit.

Be warned, if you click on the link, you may experience horror, upset stomach, sleeplessness, and it may complicate your efforts to enjoy smoking. Click on individual package images to see other samples from the same country… Singapore’s are some the most graphic.

Cigarette warnings from around the world