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The Dutch Government intends to make graphic images on cigarette packages mandatory. However, contrary to other policy measures to reduce smoking, health warnings do not work. There is no acceptable evidence in favour of graphic images and behaviour change theories suggest methods of change that improve skills, self-efficacy and social support. Thus, theory- and evidence-based policy should focus on prohibiting the tobacco industry from glamourizing packaging and make health communications on packages mandatory. As to the type of communications to be used, theory and evidence suggest that warning of the negative consequences of smoking is not an effective approach. Rather, targeting the most important determinants of the initiation of smoking and its successful cessation - such as skills, self-efficacy and subjective norm - along with the most effective behaviour change methods appears to be the most expedient strategy.