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International Health Insurance News: Picture warnings 'help discourage smoking'

Those seeking expatriate medical insurance may note that some countries are taking sterner action to discourage smoking by forcing adverts and packs to carry pictures showing the medical effects of the habit.

Such a move has been welcomed by research manager at Action on Smoking and Health Amada Sandford, who said: "There is a good deal of evidence to show that health warnings are effective at stopping people from starting to smoke and help existing smokers to quit."

Pictures are "more effective" than words in dissuading individuals from lighting up and will have a bigger impact, she suggested.

People seeking help to quit are better assisted in Britain than some other countries, she noted, with the health service offering advice through GPS, an NHS helpline and therapy to make it easier for smokers to kick the habit.

New rules being introduced by the US Food and Drug Administration will take effect in September next year, while Australia is also looking to alter packaging.

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