Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Food and Drug Administration Will Require More Graphic Cigarette Health Warnings to Deter Smoking

The different images, to be shown on packs of cigarettes beginning in 2012, have been opposed by the tobacco industry

I really don't think attempting to scare folks not to smoke will work. People always think it will NOT happen to them after they get addicted.
Federal health officials released on Tuesday their final selection of nine graphic warning labels to cover the top half of cigarette packages beginning next year, over the opposition of tobacco manufacturers.

In the first major change to warning labels in more than a quarter-century, the graphic images will include photographs of horribly damaged teeth and lungs and a man exhaling smoke through a tracheotomy opening in his neck. The Department of Health and Human Services selected nine color images among 36 proposed to accompany larger text warnings.

Health advocacy groups praised the government plan in the hope that images would shock and deter new smokers and motivate existing smokers to quit.

The images are to cover the upper half of the front and back of cigarette packages produced after September 2012, as well as 20 percent of the space in cigarette advertisements.

“These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking, and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Tuesday in a statement.

The four leading tobacco companies were all threatening legal action, saying the images would unfairly hurt their property and free-speech rights by obscuring their brand names in retail displays, demonizing the companies and stigmatizing smokers.
Here is another one of the warning messages - it is pretty graphic.

The California Department of Health has been running television ads for some time with graphic images. If it gets some folks to quit - great. But, I don't think it will have much affect.
A few smokers surveyed on New York sidewalks were unswayed by the images. Khariton Popilevsky, 46, a pawnbroker, shrugged and said: “Telling me things we already know. I’ll still be smoking.”

Hayley Sapp, 28, a paralegal, said: “There are lots of other high risks out there, you know. Obesity is huge.”

Saiful Islam, 34, a convenience store clerk, said higher prices would cut sales a lot more than the images on cigarette packs.
The rate of smoking has already decreased since I was a boy and it would benefit the public health if more people would quit.
The rate of smoking in America has been cut roughly in half, to about 20 percent, from 42 percent in 1965, but health officials say progress has stalled. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, killing 443,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Each day, an estimated 4,000 youths try their first cigarette, and 1,000 a day will become regular smokers, the government says.
So, if you smoke quit. If you don't smoke, don't start.

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