Man finds own amputated leg on cigarette packets without consent

Cigarette packet Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The 60-year-old man says the picture was used on cigarette packets without his consent

A 60-year-old man in eastern France says he was stunned to discover that a picture of his amputated leg had been used on cigarette packets without his consent.

The picture was displayed on EU cigarette packets, alongside the message “smoking clogs your arteries”.

But the Albanian man, who lives in Metz, says he lost his leg as the result of a 1997 assault in Albania.

His lawyer is contacting the European Commission to find out what happened.

His son discovered the picture – which bore recognisable burns and scars – when he bought a packet of rolling tobacco last year in Luxembourg, French media report.

He brought the packet home to his family and his father confirmed it was indeed a picture of his leg.

But he says he had never agreed to the picture being used. He believes it was taken at a local hospital he visited to find out whether he could be equipped with a prosthetic leg.

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Media captionFrance launches crackdown on smoking

“It’s rather incredible that a person finds themselves without their agreement on cigarette packets throughout the European Union,” the man’s lawyer, Antoine Fittante, said.

“My client feels betrayed, wounded in his dignity, by seeing his disability [displayed] on cigarette packets in tobacconists; one must admit that’s not very pleasant.”

Mr Fittante has written to the hospital, to find out how the photos ended up being used.

The European Commission is being approached as it is responsible for the distribution of such images on all EU cigarette packets.

Mr Fittante says the Commission normally uses pictures from a database, which are verified and published with the consent of the person featured.


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