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BRUSSELS - European Union states on Thursday won the right to use photos from a grisly library of rotten teeth, blackened lungs and wrinkled skin on cigarette packets to persuade smokers to quit and children never to start.
Belgium, Britain, Ireland and Latvia have expressed interest in the database, unveiled by the European Commission in October but unavailable until now to EU states for legal reasons.
While the Commission wants to see the photos on cigarette packets throughout the 25-nation bloc, using them will be voluntary.
"They're explicit, easily understood and they attract attention," EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou told a news conference.
"We need something new that you can't get used to, like rotten teeth, wrinkled skin and skin cancer. That's why we think they will be effective," he said. "But I anticipate some reaction on the part of industry."