Cigarette packages warnings in Cyprus: evaluating the effectiveness of their language
UCLan Cyprus School of Law Research Seminar 13, Tuesday 21st October, 13:45-14:45 (Moot Court Room)
Mr Andreas Andreou
(Forensic Linguist; Member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists)
Research in the language of product warnings suggests that product warnings must meet certain linguistically related criteria, such as warning the reader about any possible danger of using the product and being written in clear and understandable language, in order to be considered effective and adequate. According to The Protection of Health (Control of Smoking) Law of 2002 up to 2004 which adopts the European Directive 2001/37/EC, all cigarette packages distributed in Cyprus must carry two warnings, one on the front and another on the back of the package.
In this seminar, all 16 cigarette packages warnings written in Greek and used in Cyprus are thoroughly examined from a linguistic perspective in order to answer the question whether they are adequate enough to warn the smoker of the harmful effects of smoking. The analysis shows that 12 of these warnings are considered to be inadequate on the basis of certain linguistic criteria which include amongst others the use of non-explicit language and non-ordinary and/or ambiguous words.