A horrifying new look for cigarettes
The FDA unveils its new packaging requirements. Will the disturbing images help smokers quit?
Yes, says the U.S. Food and Drug Association. The FDA is making huge changes to cigarette boxes, plastering gruesome warnings on half of the front and back of each pack.
The FDA is considering 36 label possibilities and has posted them here. The labels have large images on them, many of which are disturbing, frightening and sad -- and that's exactly what the FDA wants.
A man lying in a coffin. A corpse with its chest sewn up. A crying baby in a hospital. A man clutching his chest in the middle of a heart attack.
The FDA plans to choose nine labels by June and will require cigarette companies to place them on packages and advertisements by September, The Los Angeles Times reports.
All in an attempt to cut the smoking rate below the 20% range it's been at for years. Tobacco use kills nearly 450,000 people in the U.S. annually. Post continues after video:
The FDA has hit the industry with other regulations as well. No more free samples. No more advertising in youth-oriented magazines. No more describing cigarettes as "light" and "mild," the Times reports.
These labels aren't sitting well with cigarette makers like Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO), who have filed a lawsuit in federal court.
The companies say the new format makes their brands nearly impossible to see, since all logos are shoved to the bottom half of the packaging.
So will the new labels keep people from smoking? One smoker doesn't think so.
"I don't think they're going to be a deterrent at all for people who already smoke," one 27-year-old smoker told The Associated Press. "Most people start smoking when they're young, and I don't think they're going to think about the effects."
I watched my mother-in-law die a horrible death from the effects of smoking.
I believe the government is going about this all wrong. Printing out cartoon images to a reality distanced group of people 'just ain't gonna git er done'.
I think a better deterrent might be for the government to pay the cigarette companies $5 per pack for each pack 'sold'. To 'buy' a pack, the purchaser must accumulate credits. These credits can only come from tending to people who are suffering from the effects of smoking. The health-care industry will receive some much needed assistance caring for people suffering from tobacco related diseases. When the smokers see the effects up close and personal and have to actually work to become like the people they're tending, I believe smoking won't be popular for very long.
Addiction don't mind no steekin' pictures.
And I think the 10-to-15-year-old set will probably try to collect the whole set of packages. Hell, I don't smoke and I probably will, if they're lurid enough!
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Bill Stiritz owns more than 5% of the company, and has experienced an estimated $145 million in paper losses on his investment.
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