Will graphic cigarette labels make a difference?

Corpses, cancer patients and diseased lungs are among the images the federal government plans for larger, graphic warning labels that would take up half of each pack of cigarettes sold in the United States, Associated Press reports.

The images are part of a new campaign announced by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services to reduce tobacco use, which is responsible for about 443,000 deaths per year, AP writes.

“Some very explicit, almost gruesome pictures may be necessary,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Will they be effective?

Will they make a difference for smokers addicted to nicotine?

Will they stop more young people from trying cigarettes?

Or do most people already know the dangers, so the effect will be limited?

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29 comments Add your comment

Mun-Kee See, Mun-Kee Do.

November 11th, 2010
8:05 am

Cigarette warnings make no difference to simpletons.

The President of the United States puts cancer sticks in his mouth to tide him over for those times when he can’t put Larry Sinclair in there, and the simpletons who came out of the woodwork to register to vote for the very first time in their lives just to vote for him based on the color of his skin will do the same.

CommonSenseRules

November 11th, 2010
9:52 am

The only effect such a move will have is the increased cost of tobacco products (can’t have revenue decrease, can we?), along with the increase in ’sin taxes’ that states are using to balance their budgets. If folks went sober and tobacco-free, the budgets of many states in the south would resemble that of California, an absolute shambles. God forbid that folks in the Bible belt be willing to give up the ‘freedom’ to kill themselves!

willydoit

November 11th, 2010
9:52 am

You could remove the brand names and call them TUMORS and people will still smoke them….Idiots!

Private

November 11th, 2010
9:57 am

Apparently southerners are the only smokers and drinkers? CommonSenseRules? You may want to think of a new name that actually describes you.

So next up, a morbidly obese woman with her fat rolls hanging out on all McDonalds wrappers. Let’s not stop with cigarettes, right?

lyn

November 11th, 2010
10:07 am

Mary

November 11th, 2010
10:12 am

No it won’t. Everytime someone lights up a cigarette, they know EXACTLY the dangers of what they are doing to their bodies. Why anyone would do that to themselves????? There is nothing sexy or pretty about a smoker.

I can’t stand cigarettes. I am SO glad I never got hooked. Not one person in my entire family smokes. THANK GOD. It’s a nasty habit and it does not look good to see a person with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth. And they smell!!!!

GROSS GROSS GROSS!!!!!!

ozzfest

November 11th, 2010
10:12 am

ALL FOR IT…MAYBE LYSOL COULD CO-BRAND WITH MARLBORO…AND INCLUDE A SHOT OF AIR-FRESHNER OR MOUTH-RINSE WITH EACH PACK. THE TYPICAL SMOKER HAS NO IDEA HOW BAD THEY SMELL…AND I WOULD NEVER KISS ONE.

I-90 Drifter

November 11th, 2010
10:20 am

You know, if you want to make smoking illegal, then do so. Otherwise, just leave it alone. No one in his right mind can claim now that he “didn’t know” that smoking would lead to health problems. If you drink too much milk, you get fat. If you eat too many beans, you get gas. If you drink too much beer, you get drunk. Why do we want government to play a role in all these personal decisions? Why???

Neshnev

November 11th, 2010
10:20 am

It might give the fools who smoke the damn things a reason to think about it. I like the graphic of the man with a hole in his throat…how debonair.

Day Late

November 11th, 2010
10:21 am

Y’all are a day late on this one. I saw this in every newspaper yesterday.

KatyWatts

November 11th, 2010
10:33 am

Smokers are always the target. Let’s target ardent Coke drinkers. The stuff tastes great but it rots your liver. Or how about overweight people. Let’s target them with warnings about diabetes, heart disease, sleep problems, high blood pressure, etc. You go out to each and once you reach that caloric limit, you are cut off because the government knows what’s best for everyone…Yea right! The point is people are going to do what they do. The government is not my father and I resent them wasting my valuable tax dollar on crap like this when they could be so much more productive, like how to spend less money!!! And I’m not even a smoker!

KatyWatts

November 11th, 2010
10:34 am

Thank you I-90 Drifter. Very well said!!

P

November 11th, 2010
10:37 am

I was just in Greece this summer and from what I could tell they are already doing this. I saw them for sale with some fairly graphic stuff on the package. Is it working for them? From what I can tell smoking is very rampant in Greece.

By the way I agree 100% with Mary above (10:12am). I see any/all smokers as dumb and stupid and will never hire one or deal with one if I can deal with a non-smoker.

BB

November 11th, 2010
10:41 am

What about a morbidly obese MAN, Private!!

allen981

November 11th, 2010
10:41 am

I am very much opposed to smoking, but this is over the top. And, at the same time officials are considering this, there’s a strong move across the country to legalize marijuana.

I’m not a scientist, but I’ll guarantee you smoking two joints a day is worse for your lungs that a pack of cigarettes.

My take: ban smoking in all public places, and increase penalties for marijuana.

Braves887

November 11th, 2010
10:42 am

This amazes me. One of the biggest problems in our society is lack of personal responsibility. If you want to smoke, then smoke and be accountable for your actions. Most people know the consequences of smoking and don’t need warning labels to tell them what they already know. I don’t smoke regularly (I might have a cigarette or two once every four to six months) but respect people’s right to do so without being chastised in public. I agree with I-90 Drifter, does Coca-Cola have to start putting people having diabetic seizures on their boxes? Everything we do has consequences from what we eat and drink to driving in cars. We must all weigh the risks of what we do, make are own decisions, and be responsible for our actions.

Beau

November 11th, 2010
10:49 am

this is nothing new and it won’t make a difference. Stickers like these have been used in Europe on cigarettes for years. Simply put, it was certainly “shocking” when they first started the practice, however, people that want to smoke, will smoke. People who smoke KNOW the risks smoking poses to them. Even four year olds can tell you smoking is bad for you.

Its a much different time now than back in the middle of the 20th century when there was a concious effort to hide and mislead the public as to the safety of cigarettes. We aren’t living in that time.

I can’t help but think there may be more useful avenues for directing such energies.

DEF

November 11th, 2010
10:52 am

They have been putting those graphics on packs in Canada for years. Hasn’t slowed them down any. Just boosted sales for cigarette cases.

Nancy

November 11th, 2010
10:57 am

When they start putting graphic labels on beer and liquor bottles then I will be all for it… smoking is bad but so is drinking. Why don’t you ask the innocent person killed by the drunk driver? OH Wait you can’t they are dead.

dtboy

November 11th, 2010
11:09 am

If the smell, taste, burn, coughing, wheezing, smoke, dry lips and throat and outright rejection from the body won’t deter smoking, then these ads have NO chance!

I hope they do

November 11th, 2010
11:17 am

I hope they do. I will go into business selling cigarette cases that used to be real popular. Buy a pack, take them out, put them in the case. Through the pack away. I’ll have covers with peace signs, rebel
flags, pit bulls, Harley Davidson, sports teams, you name it. I can’t
wait. Look for them at your local convenience store! Great for your
Christmas stockings!

PR

November 11th, 2010
1:48 pm

No – it won’t make a difference. The price of tobacco products has skyrocketed over the years and taxed to the hilt yet people continue to smoke, chew, etc. Even knowing they could be denied ofr health insurance coverage or be charged extremely high rates don’t deter them.

@ CommonSenseRules (NOT!) – Some of the most religious bible thumpers I know live in the Midwest, the heaviest alcoholics in the NE and drug users out in CA. Stop falsely labeling people. Some of the most brilliant people in the World have mental illnesses and addictions.

We can legislate ourselves to death and things WILL NOT change. Personal responsibility is the key to everything. We continue to lose our way! :(

FS

November 11th, 2010
7:26 pm

This is asurd. Why not force fast food chains to only show obese people in their ads? Or, how about pictures of dead children hit by drunk drivers on all beer and liquor bottles. Where does it end?

jgogek

November 11th, 2010
9:43 pm

Actually, the United States is far behind other countries when it comes to graphic warnings on cigarette packs. Thailand has been doing this for awhile. Aren’t we as concerned about the health of our kids, loved ones and ourselves as the Thais? 440,000 people die every year in the United States from tobacco. The most graphic warnings are exactly what we need. If you don’t want to see them, don’t buy cigarettes.

FS

November 12th, 2010
1:30 am

“If you don’t want to see them, don’t buy cigarettes.”

> Ha! And don’t watch television either, because every commercial break these days has a graphic anti-smoking ad.

FS

November 12th, 2010
2:01 am

How can anyone support this big brother crap? What’s next? Banning the use of salt in cooking in restaurants? Oh wait…

“No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises.”

- New York State bill A. 10129

TnGelding

November 12th, 2010
5:27 am

The effect will be limited, but any improvement is welcome. The addicts will continue to poison themselves regardless. The key is educating the children against any drug use. The high taxes on cigs are taking food off of poor people’s tables.

Ole Guy

November 16th, 2010
4:26 pm

Think about it…we self-destruct in the name of self satiation and never bat an eye. We stuff our faces with crap, never giving one thought to the goo residing within our colons, we (on occasion, of course) destroy a portion of our brain cells in the revelry known as “tying one on”…the list goes on. Rather than face, much less acknowledge reality, we insist on “making ok” that which, deep down, we know is anything but ok. We insist on the glamourization of smoking, associating it with the “good life” to which we all strive, whether we deserve it or not.

Let Father Darwin rule…the stupid, selfish, and uncaring will fall by the wayside of life while the astute will have to ride the waves of the wake created by the dearly departed.

Ole Guy

November 16th, 2010
4:35 pm

Gelding, with all due respect to your views, educating kids in the physical and social maladies of smoking and drug abuse is like educating them in the issues surrounding the choice of doing poo poo/pee pee in the pants vs exercising a little self control. What’s next? Educating kids in toilet etiquette lest the younger generation lay blame upon us oldsters for failure to teach em right?