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October 2017
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I Care, But I Don’t

Throughout the years the perception of smoking has greatly changed. Smoking was long seen as an act of rebellion, as something sophisticated or even as something that makes one look tough. However, these images have changed. This has had great implications on cigarette advertising and packaging. In the Netherlands, cigarette packaging is merely covered by textual warnings while Canada, Australia, Brazil and dozens of other countries have recently implemented horrific graphic warnings. Research shows that graphic cigarette warning labels lodge themselves in people’s minds. But the question is, do they really help smokers quit? This is the main question we based our documentary on and by interviewing several Dutch smokers on cigarette packaging and their effectiveness we came up with the following conclusion:

“Dutch smokers confirm what we hypothesized; textual warnings are useless. Smokers have become both numb and unconscious to the important and mandatory labels that are posted on cigarette packages. And while they think these graphic warnings that have been used in other countries should be implemented in The Netherlands they still state it would not impact or influence them quit but it may work for children who are considering starting smoking. Thus the documentary leaves us with the question; can we really influence the behavior of smokers through the use of labels and warnings?” 

May-Anne Oltmans, Irmansyah Putera, Nazli Mes & Robin Rovers

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