FDA Unveils Proposed Graphic Warning Labels for Cigarette Packs
Gardiner Harris, New York Times (November 10, 2010)
The war on tobacco has gotten just a bit splashier and “deathlier”. Graphic images designed to scare people straight will soon be gracing cigarette packaging by next summer. The images range from a corpse in a casket, a cadaver, toe-tagged feet, gravestones, a deathbed denizen and a guy blowing smoke out of a hole in his neck for good, visceral measure.
See the images here.
Graphic images on cigarette packs are nothing new. In Europe, graphic warnings such as these (and worse) have been in place for years. But now that the FDA has the authority to regulate the tobacco industry, they are going all out with introduction of a glitzy new shock and awe, “anti-advertising” campaign. On Wednesday, they unveiled 36 new warning labels, of which 9 will be chosen, to grace cigarette packaging across the U.S. However, the new effort ups the ante quite a bit from the rather sedate Surgeon General’s warning stating that “smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and may complicate pregnancy.”
According to the NY Times,
Dr. Richard D. Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic, said he was hopeful the labels would save lives, though he said a higher federal tax and tougher workplace restrictions were also needed.
“The evidence is that graphic labels do make a difference in enticing smokers to stop smoking,” he said.
I say, you be the judge. Are cigarettes still the proverbial “nails in the coffin?” And if so, is showing a guy actually in a coffin enough to get you or others to quit smoking? The FDA is currently seeking public comment and so are we. We’re not blowing smoke—send us your thoughts!