Woman shocked to find photo of dying dad on ciggie warning
A SHOCKED mum-of-two was horrified to find gruesome cigarette warnings which she claims uses a picture of her dying DAD.
Jodi Charles, 42, spotted the image on a pal's packet of Amber Leaf tobacco and says she is "110 per cent" sure the photo is of her late dad David Ross.
Jodi, from Purfleet, Essex, said: "My friend who smokes tobacco came round on Tuesday and my 14-year-old daughter picked up the wrapper.
"She ran into the room and said, 'Look, it's granddad!'
"When I saw that photo, I just said, 'Oh my God.' I just knew without any doubt that it was dad. I was horrified."
The former ambulance driver passed away in 2015 aged 66 and though he was a smoker, he died of unrelated bone marrow problems, septicaemia and lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.
He spent 10 months at Basildon University Hospital, Essex, after being admitted in 2014 and was on life support in intensive care on three occasions.
Jodi claims that's when someone must have taken the photo, which shows a man lying unconscious in a hospital bed with a breathing tube in his mouth.
She said she would "no way" have given his consent for his picture to be used.
The hospital denies this and the EU Commission claims the image is of someone else, but Jodi says she is yet to receive proof of that.
Jodi said she showed the packet to her mum Marina Morton, 62, who is also convinced the photo is of her husband - and is absolutely devastated.
The full-time mum told consumer website A Spokesman Said: "I cut my dad's hair for 20 years, I know exactly how his hairline was, exactly where it sticks up a little.
"I also cut his eyebrows and know all the tiny details of his face.
"The whole picture looks exactly like him. His eyes were puffed up when he was in intensive care and they are in the photo too.
"I am 110 per cent sure it is him and that there is no way he gave permission for such a terrible picture to be used. It's terribly upsetting.
"This has been a horrendous time for us. Dad being ill took up my whole life and I am still grieving now - I will be forevermore.
"As time goes on you learn to deal with it, but this has brought it all back. I'm distraught again."
She added that the caption is "absolutely disgusting" because David didn't have a stroke and he wasn't disabled, nor did he die of a smoking-related illness.
The EU said it "cannot give out further information on their identity in order to protect the rights of the individuals depicted".
A European Commission spokesman said: "We are very sorry for the distress caused to this young lady who believes that her father is depicted in this health warning.
"However, having checked the details of her father against the identity of the person depicted, we can categorically state that the person in this picture is not David Ross.
"May we take this opportunity to emphasise that all individuals depicted in the library of picture warnings were informed and gave their consent.
"Any similarity with other individuals is purely coincidental."
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said photos of the sort shown on the packaging are not taken by their staff.
A hospital spokeswoman said: "There are only two departments which take photos - communications, for charity events and that sort of thing, and medical photography.
"Neither of those departments have forwarded any photos to the photo library."
Nevertheless, Jodi remains convinced the photo is of her dad and is demanding that the EU stops using the image.
She added: "If it isn't him, I want proof of that, and of the fact that he signed to say that they could do this.
"If they don't give me that, I'm going to sue them.
"It is horrific to see my dad who has just passed away on a fag packet.
"It is morally wrong and extremely distressing for the whole family."