An Albanian living in France has, to his dismay, encountered a photograph of his own mutilated left leg on a packet of cigarettes. The message that came with the photo was that smoking clogs up arteries. That while the Albanian didn’t lose his leg because of smoking, but because of a shooting.
The Albanian leg was amputated as a result of injuries sustained by the man in 1997 in a shooting in Albania. In the hope that a French specialist could help him with a prosthetic, the Albanian sent photos of his legs to a military hospital in Metz. However, he never received a reply to his letter.
It was eventually the Albanian son who found out that the photos had entered the anti-smoking campaign without permission. He bought a pack of cigarettes and recognized the scars of his father’s leg, French media report. The European Commission, which deals with these warnings against smoking, has not yet been able to explain where the photograph came from.
Antoine Fittante, a lawyer representing the Albanian national, told the BBC that the man feels betrayed having seen “his disability [displayed]” on cigarettes sold throughout the EU.
Fittante has written the hospital to see how it was possible that his picture was released and has also approached the EU for its role in dispersing the warning.