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Cigarette pack warning: it can send you blind!
  1. S Chapman
  1. Correspondence to: Professor S Chapman School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia; simonchapmanhealth.usyd.edu.au

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The growing research implicating smoking in age related macular degeneration (AMD) prompted us to write an editorial in 19991 urging the Australian government to warn smokers of this little appreciated risk.

In 2000, the Australian National Quit campaign ran an advertisement as part of a series titled “Every cigarette is doing you damage,” which explicitly addressed AMD. A website describes the campaign here in Australia (www.quitnow.info.au/script/eye.html) and the television ad may be downloaded (www.quitnow.info.au/smokescreen/smokescreen.html).

In 2006 the Australian government will require new mandatory pictorial pack warnings, one of which will be about AMD. This warning was one of the strongest tested among smokers in the research conducted for the government before the announcement. The full report and other related information can be found at tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/site/supersite/resources/docs/gallery_ packwarnings.htm.

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