The War Against Smoking Heats Up

If you didn’t know, smoking is dangerous.

But you already knew that.

Nevertheless, the dangers of smoking are set to become even more apparent this coming September, when the FDA will release nine new graphic warning labels which must, by law, appear on all packs, cartons and advertisements.

According to American Medical News (7/4, Moyer) these warnings will include “images of a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole and a dead man with a surgery-scarred chest.”

The article continues to state that Philip Morris protested, arguing that the government would be compelling a private company to advertise a message that it did not choose. Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “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.”

The New York Times was among the many who welcomed the bolder warnings with an editorial which stated that “The World Health Organization issued a report on Thursday noting that large pictorial warnings on cigarette packages are effective in deterring smoking. The report, which addresses the global smoking epidemic, validates the recent decision” by the FDA “to require that big, stark images be placed on cigarette packages and advertisements to show that smoking causes death and severe illness.” The bolder warnings “should help persuade more adults to quit and show young people that the habit is more lethal than cool.”

Watch this space for updates and please, if you smoke, quit! And if you don’t smoke, don’t start!