Differences in warning labels internationally

One of my favorite things to do on my tour of western europe was to observe the different warning labels on cigarettes. I couldn’t speak dutch, but I can speak German; I can’t speak French, but I do know Spanish, etc etc etc for each of the countries, so I got a pretty good feel for what they were trying to say.

In the US, cigarettes come with a warning label that says “smoking can lead to lung cancer” and “pregnant women should not smoke.” Here are my observations of the labels on various labels I found:

  1. Dutch: Smoking can be deadly
  2. German: Smoking kills
  3. French: Smoking will lead to a long and painful death
  4. Spanish: Smoking is dangerous

I think it’s a pretty good reflection of each culture’s views on morality governments.

Russian: ‘Smoking damages your health’.

And on the other side of the pack it says ‘Smoking tobacco causes nicotine addiction’.

Currently the UK has various ones similar to the above, including ‘Smoking Kills’. Soon to be introduced are pictures as well.

I like Japan’s from this article:

“Be careful not to smoke too much, because it is harmful for your health.”

Aw, thanks, mom!

The original one was actually written by the cigarette companies. They disputed the flat out statement that “Smoking is dangerous to your health”, so they lobbied for “The Surgeon General has determined that smoking is hazardous to your health.” The latter, instead of stating things as facts, stated them as opinions, and of a person most people had never heard of at the time.

Italy has:

Smoking Kills

Smoking is damaging to the people around you

Smoking is dnagerous during pregnancy

And I THINK there is one about not smoking in the presence of children.