Woman Shocked After Finding a Photograph of Herself Used as Cigarette Box Warning Labels


According to reports from Mexican news outlets, a woman named Soledad Félix has filed an official complaints with the Juárez City Human Rights Commission after finding a photo of herself being used as a warning label for packs of cigarettes. The picture was taken while she was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack, and was used — without her knowledge or permission — by a number of tobacco companies as part of their mandated warning against the use of tobacco.

To preface the situation, in many parts of the world, it is a required for tobacco companies to include rather gruesome photographs on their packaging in order to graphically persuade tobacco users to stop their unhealthy habit.

Although the photo of Félix has been used by tobacco companies such as Fortuna and Marlboro, it’s the Ministry of Health that’s taking the heat — they’re the ones that actually obtain and distribute the required images.

The cigarette pack design that features the improperly used photo.

The cigarette pack design that features the improperly used photo.

As for how they acquired the image of the then-frail Mrs. Soledad Félix taken approximately four and a half years ago, details are scarce. According to the family, this was the only time she was in the intensive care unit at the local hospital, where the photograph was taken.

In a (roughly translated) statement from the daughter of the woman pictured, she told Proceso, “We do not know who took that picture when my mother was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack, because we never authorize anyone to take pictures.”

The complaints could reportedly turn into lawsuits that cite everything from invasion of privacy to moral damages.

(via Sipse)

  • Rob Elliott

    Does she smoke?

  • lexplex

    Was she in hospital as a result of smoking, and was she in a state hospital receiving free treatment? If the answer is yes to all, then she deserves it and this publicity will make a lot of people think twice about smoking, which is great. If she doesn’t smoke or if it was a private hospital and she was paying for the treatment, then it’s definitely wrong.

  • james

    It’s wrong anyway. She didn’t give permission. End of.

  • Jason Yuen

    So you’re saying she deserves to have her body in that condition displayed to the world against her will because she had a heart attack (which of course was her choice) and got rushed into the nearest hospital? Because she had ample time to research and pick which hospital to go to? Because she received “free” care, she deserves to have her privacy raped in an environment where doctor-patient confidentiality is considered more of a human right than a courtesy in western civilization?

  • Genkakuzai

    You are aware that free (universal) health care is the norm in the vast majority of civilised countries right? That does in no way, shape or form mean that you deserve to have photos taken of you in a situation like that. You deserve just as much privacy in a public hospital as you do in a private one. Physician-patient privilege and what not.

  • lexplex

    Yep. I’m not sure about the laws in her own country/region, but almost everywhere else in the western world photographs can be taken of anyone in a place of business by anyone under the employ of that place of business and be used without express permission for non-profit purposes. ‘Fair use’ laws cover this in the USA even for profitable purposes, ‘the land of the free’, where people are exploited every day for profit without express consent. Fix that issue, and then maybe we can get around to a burden of the state teaching people a valuable lesson.

  • lexplex

    It’s immoral that they used it without permission, but it’s neither illegal nor uncommon in the western world. It was taken and used for educational, non-profit purposes. Did PetaPixel seek explicit written consent to use all the images and the person’s name before publishing the story? If not, then surely that’s the same violation of personal rights?

  • Erick

    Welcom to the world of TC where anything goes!

    And it does not matter what she was in hospital for it is wrong.