China Puts Skulls on Cigarette Packs, Bypasses Toys For Now

China’s had such a bad safety record lately that it’s a little surprising to find out their latest plans for health warnings on packs of cigarettes: skulls, blackened teeth, and diseased lungs, covering at least 30% of the pack’s surface area. The move is an attempt to curb the growing market of smokers in the country, where the average age of people who start smoking is as low as 10 in some areas.

Youth expert Zhao Cuiping says the skull idea isn’t so good if you’re trying not to attract teens: “In analysis over the past decade on what young people like, they far prefer skulls and other scary images to cats or dogs.” However, a CNN article from 2002 says the graphic warnings have been successful in Canada.

Just yesterday, we saw a teen girl with a pink rhinestone skull-and-crossbones on her bag, but to be fair, we have yet to see any bedazzled lung tumors. Maybe the next generation will take that up.

China cigarette packs to get skull health warnings [Reuters]

List of countries that have picture-based health warnings
(Photo: Chris Walters)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mandarin says:

    Thats not going to work… Might end up buying them just for the heck of it…

  2. thepounder says:

    I suppose any surprise here is just caused by the cultural differences between China and the US. I get their point of putting the skulls on stuff, much like we used to put the skull and crossbones on poisons. Whatever works, unless the kids all buy the Skull Deathbrand Cigarettes now…

    On a side note, I must have that belt and belt buckle. Pimp My Pants.

  3. mikesfree says:

    Sounds like marketing to pirates to me.

  4. liquisoft says:

    “we have yet to see any bedazzled lung tumors. Maybe the next generation will take that up.”

    I’m already registering!

  5. mopar_man says:

    Canadian cigarettes have pictures of blackened lungs, mouths with smoking affects and facts about smoking. As far as I know, none of my Canadian friends that smoke have stopped because of this packaging.

  6. neuracnu says:

    Thailand has been doing this for a while now. Just do a Google image search for thai cigarettes to see the nastiness.

  7. moorie679 says:

    yeah retarded…..most people know smoking is bad for ya……I smoked for 5 years and quit 4 times….the truth ads nor the packaging ever stopped me. I doubt there was anyone in their living room sitting and watching TV that went……”oh snap dog….there is no such thing as a safe cigarette….just like bullets….better quits”

  8. Marce says:

    My favorite winter hat has cartoony skulls on the ear flaps. Real skulls, now…

  9. Greeper says:

    And there will still be lawsuits by people claiming they were tricked and didnt know it was bad for them

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    How about just listing the lead content of the cigarettes?

  11. Robert Synnott says:

    This is pretty common nowadays. I don’t think that there’s much evidence they work.

    Here in Ireland, packets just have text warnings; my favourite (normally found on brands targeted at women, I think) is “Smoking causes aging of the skin.”