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Fuel pumps should have cigarette-style warnings, claim health experts

Autocar Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Group calls for “shocking” warning labels showing the damage to health and the planet from pollution and climate change

Petrol and diesel pumps should carry cigarette packet-style warning labels as a shock tactic, a group of public health experts has claimed.

The Times reports scientists have called for “shocking” images including blackened lungs and flooded houses to be displayed on pumps as a warning about the negative effects of using the fuels, such as pollution and climate change.

Such labels are already in use on fuel pumps in the city of Vancouver, Canada, while Sweden is also set to introduce them in May. 

The comments were made in an article published on the British Medical Journal’s website and led by Mike Gill, a former regional director of public health in south-east England. The article claims the same attitude taken towards smoking should be adopted in order to “sensitise people to the consequences of their actions”.

“Smoking is no longer viewed as a normal lifestyle choice,” the article claims, “but as an addiction which harms the individual and those around them through exposure to second-hand smoke. Fossil fuel use also harms others through ambient air pollution that accounts for about 3.5 million premature deaths per year, as well as through climate change, which increasingly threatens the health of current and future generations.” 

The group is calling for labels to be brought in this year, ahead of the United Nations COP26 climate conference in November. 

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