Unsuspecting patient furious after hospital photo used as cigarette pack warning

FILE PHOTO © Andrea Comas
A Spanish man is taking the hospital where he had spinal surgery to court after he discovered pre-operation images of his face were being used to advertise the dangers of smoking on cigarette packs.

“Smoking can cause embolisms and disability,” the caption under the photo said.

The man, identified only by the initials FJTA, was recognized by neighbors, who pointed out that he looked like the image on the packet.

He went to the Guardia Civil law enforcement agency last week to file the complaint.

In addition, the 54-year-old had been at the Santiago de Compostela hospital for reasons that had nothing to do with smoking, with the photos taken from back surgery he had undergone three years ago.

“I am on that photo not because of the consequences of smoking but because of back problems,” he told La Voz de Galicia newspaper, adding that he had a titanium plate fitted in his spine.

The man has no doubt that the person in the photo is him. He was able to establish the time when the photo was allegedly taken because it was the only time when he was intubated.

Health authorities have launched an investigation into the case.