Fact Check-Meme does not show updated warning on tobacco packaging

Smoking has long been associated with a heightened risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes - and claims this link was first broadcast in 2022 by health authorities trying to hide negative effects of COVID-19 vaccines are false.

The suggestion has been made in a widely shared meme comparing two photos of health warnings on two packets of tobacco (here , here , here and here).

In the first photo, captioned December 2021, the warning label reads: “Tobacco smoke contains a toxic mix of chemicals that cause disease and early death in children and non-smoking adults exposed to the smoke.”

The second photo is captioned January 2022. The label reads: “Inhaling even small amounts of the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can trigger sudden blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.”

Circled in red are the three latter listed health conditions. Opponents of vaccination have seized on extremely rare cases of blood clots linked to some shots.

“Soo soo desperate to try and cover their manslaughter deaths, this shouts out they beginning to get a little,” wrote one Instagram user in the comments section of a post (here).

Another on the same post suggested authorities would “blame it on anything but the shot”.

However, the connection between blood clots, heart disease and strokes is not a recent discovery. More than 8 million people die as a result of tobacco every year, according to the World Health Organisation (here and here).

Many of these deaths have long been known to be linked to cancers, strokes and cardiovascular disease. External resources with extensive information on this can be found here , here , here , here , here and here).

Moreover, the quote attributed to the January 2022 tobacco packaging is not new. It can be found in 2011 legislation from Australia on tobacco warnings.

See Section 4.7(5) in the Competition and Consumer (Tobacco) Information Standard 2011 here .

The same piece of legislation also includes the quote linked in the meme to the December 2021 caption. See Section 3.2(5).


Missing context. The link between tobacco smoking and blood clots, strokes and heart attacks is well established. The warning message captioned January 2022 is not new and can be found in Australian legislation from 2011.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.