Health officials: We need cigarette-style warnings on gas pumps

The British Medical Journal is calling for warning labels to be placed where consumers buy fossil fuels. The US and British health experts that authored the article explain that more than 118 countries use stark warnings on cigarette packages to change behavior related to smoking. Similar warnings should be placed on gas pumps because burning fossil fuels are linked to 3.5 million premature deaths per year. The researchers write today on BMJ ‘s blog : We propose a low-cost, scalable intervention to facilitate change in individuals’ and society’s views and behavior: warning labels at points of purchase of fossil energy or services dependent on large amounts of fossil fuel, for example at petrol stations, on energy bills, and on airline tickets. They should state clearly that continuing to burn fossil fuels worsens the climate emergency, with major projected health impacts increasing over time. The journal points out the importance of regulations at a global level. But the researchers also argue that it’s critical to address low awareness, habit, perceived cost, and the need to counterbalance the work of vested interests sowing doubt about climate science. Warning labels connect the abstract threat of the climate emergency with the use of […]

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