The images are meant to be jarring deterrents. Consider one 60-year-old sufficiently jarred. The unnamed Albanian man who now lives in France says he was alerted to the fact that some EU cigarette packets feature a photo of his amputated leg. (See the image here.) The accompanying message is "smoking clogs your arteries," though he says he lost his leg after an assault nearly 20 years ago and never granted permission for its use, reports the BBC. The origins of the photo are somewhat unclear; he suspects it was taken at an Albanian hospital that was consulting him about a possible prosthetic leg.
He learned of the image's existence and usage via his son, who purchased rolling tobacco last year in Luxembourg and subsequently showed the image to his father. The man's lawyer is reaching out to the European Commission, which handles the imagery on EU tobacco products. The lawyer says the photos used are generally pulled from a database that verifies that the image is authentic and that any people in it have granted the proper permissions for its use. As for the relationship between smoking and amputation, a vascular surgeon in North Carolina writes that "Somehow, with all the warnings about the dangers of smoking few people know they can lose a limb to tobacco." He explains why that is here. (Read more cigarettes stories.)