In the autumn of 2016 Croatia fell in line with the rest of the European Union by having health messages over packs of cigarettes. These graphic and very blunt warnings including photos and images of cancer operations, unborn babies and rotten teeth, amongst others, are aimed at cutting down the number of smokers by shocking them to the actual risks. Over 30 percent of the Croatian population are regular smokers and this costs the health service millions every year.
The EU is not the first to have such warnings many other countries have brought in these graphic cautions years ago.
However smokers have found a way to ignore the warnings, with the help of a cardboard cover, or sleeve, which slips over the boxes thus covering the shocking images. These sleeves are available at most kiosks and cost only 1 Kuna.
Croatia isn’t the first country to have such sleeves, in fact cigarette stores and kiosks in Australia were offering them free with every box of cigarettes, a move that brought outrage from authorities. It remains to be seen if the Croatian government will crack down on these sleeves.