Horrifying Images on Cigarette Packs May Reduce Tobacco Use

Federal authorities hope the graphic pictures will turn off smokers.

Horrifying Images on Cigarette Packs May Reduce Tobacco Use

Federal authorities hope the graphic pictures will turn off smokers.

-Jane Farrell

Proposed cigarette packaging photo

An unprecedented campaign introduced by the federal government is designed to reduce smoking, or to prevent people starting, through an untried method: fear and horror.

The federal Food and Drug Administration said it plans to add nine images to cigarette packages, along with phrases, including “Smoking is addictive.” And “Cigarettes cause cancer.” The image and text would take up almost the entire package. The pictures proposed by the FDA are graphic and frightening. One shows a man smoking through a hole in his throat, presumably after getting a tracheotomy. Another shows a dying, fragile woman in a hospital bed, exhausted and bald from chemotherapy.

The rule, which would require tobacco manufacturers to place the warning on all cigarettes, will go into effect next September.

Proposed cigarette packaging photo

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, with an estimated 443,000 people dying each year and 8.6 million more suffering some kind of tobacco-related disease. The CDC also estimated that the cost of treating people afflicted with smoking-related diseases in $96 billion per year.

Read Stop Smoking—And Stay Skinny

Although smoking in the U.S. has declined over the years, there are still between 40 million and 47 million Americans who use tobacco, experts say. Health authorities are also concerned about the appeal of tobacco to younger people, who may feel they will never get cancer or are unaware of just how serious it can be.

That theory seemed to be borne out by a number of on-the-street interviews conducted by NBC. The interviews, which appeared on The Today Show, showed a young man saying that he would stop smoking once he started coughing up blood. Unfortunately, by that time the deadly disease of lung cancer has probably started its fatal progression. (fda)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.

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7 thoughts on “Horrifying Images on Cigarette Packs May Reduce Tobacco Use

  1. the fda is full of idiots! this will not stop anyone from smoking or from starting. i’ll bet it will actualy get more kids smoking, they will start collecting the “cool” packs and they figure what the heck i should try one. the gov’t needs to get out of our lives, they seem incabable of thinking through and seeing the full consequences of their nanny state mentality and actions.

  2. They have already done this in Australia, and it is a stomache turner, and does make you think twice about smoking, but at the same time didn’t detur to many people, I use to work where smokes were sold and people would actually only want packs with certain pictures because the others were “gross”..Anything is worth a try

  3. In the United States alone, there are nearly 50 million smokers over the age of eighteen. These smokers take in a large number of carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, with each puff on the cigarette. Carcinogens account for a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, emphysema, and a large number of cancers. And these conditions do not affect smokers alone. Those living with smokers can also develop similar health issues by being exposed to second hand smoke, which in many cases is more toxic than first hand smoke. Luckily, there are many products and resources available for those that want to quite smoking.

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