From September onwards UAE smokers will be given a much-needed wake-up call about the effects of their habit.
Graphics including blackened lungs and a haemorrhage-impacted brain will provide shocking warnings about the dangers on cigarette packs sold in the country, following in the footsteps of the UK, Canada and Brazil.
Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National Tobacco Control Committee, explains the plan: "We have received donation of pictures from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Six months from now, they will be on cigarette packs," she said.
Health officials hope the graphic warning will help discourage people to smoke. The last revamp of the health warning on cigarette packs in September 2007 only made manufacturers enlarge the warning text. This new graphic warning is one of the many steps the UAE to clamp down on smoking.
A federal anti-smoking draft law is expected to be passed into law soon by the Cabinet and President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan after the Federal National Council (FNC) approved it last month.
The law, which has been delayed for more than two years, includes several points in keeping with the FCTC requirements, including restricting advertising and sponsorship, limiting exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, and increasing tobacco prices and tax.