Publication details

The Same Though Different: Tobacco Health Warnings in European Community Member States



Year of publication 2005
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Tobacco health warnings are considered in the context of general product warnings with a focus on the linguistic form used to express this complex speech act. Particular attention is paid to the specification for such warnings laid down in Directive 2001/37/EC and how they are reflected in national legislatures. A comparative approach reveals several subtle linguistic differences between the wordings of health warnings found on tobacco products in various EU countries. The differences are sometimes due to mistranslation; at other times they arise from permitted modifications of the warnings within the bounds set by the source directive. They may even arise because the text of the warnings is not copied verbatim. In all cases documented, deviations from the source text of the EC directive weaken the strength of the warnings.

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