Monday, 1 July 2013

Talking cigarette packets

The persecution of smokers continues. As if huge health warnings and imminent plain packaging weren't enough, bored researchers have come up with a new way to infringe a Scot's right to smoke -

"Smokers could soon be experiencing a new, unwelcome side effect to their unhealthy habit – hearing voices. Scottish researchers have created talking cigarette packets which inform addicts of the risks of tobacco use in case they had missed the prominent health warnings and gory pictures which already adorn the products. After testing their prototypes with positive results on young women, the team from Stirling University are now widening its studies to include older age groups and men. The researchers, from the university’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research, created two packs with short messages, one giving a phone number for advice on quitting smoking and another warning that smoking reduces fertility. The packs were fitted with a voice recording and playback unit, constructed so a pre-recorded message was played when the lid opened – similar to devices fitted in speaking or singing greetings cards.

The device was tested on women between the ages of 16-24, one of the groups that still has high smoking rates. The volunteers thought the message about fertility was 'hard-hitting' and 'off-putting' and 16 and 17-year-olds in particular said it would make them think about quitting. Others said it may make them consider cutting down or quitting – because they would find it so annoying. One woman said: 'Some people would maybe say I need to pack that in because the packets are doing my nut in'.”

And if your children's new minders don't like you smoking, you might get them taken away from you.

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