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New Cigarette Warning Labels and Effectiveness

Author: Thomas C. Weiss : Contact: Disabled World

Published: 2011-02-08 : (Rev. 2017-06-28)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Proposed rule that requires warning labels on cigarettes and cigarette ads some of which are rather graphic.

Main Digest

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America has issued a proposed rule that requires warning labels on cigarettes and cigarette ads, some of which are rather graphic.

The warning labels on cigarette packages are larger than the one's many people have become accustomed to; they are far more visible and present health warning that have previously not been used. There are nine of these new labels that have warning statements and color images that present the negative health consequences related to smoking.

The new labels will begin to appear on cigarette pack and in advertisements by June 22nd of this year. The warnings contain the following statements:

WARNING: Smoking can kill you.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer.
WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
WARNING:Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.

The new warning labels will be placed on the upper part of the front and back panels of every cigarette pack.

The labels will take up at least the top fifty-percent of the panels. Advertisements for cigarettes will have the warning labels as well. The warning labels on advertising for cigarettes will cover twenty-percent of the ad.

The tobacco industry in America is huge, with sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products such as cigars and pipe tobacco making the industry millions of dollars in profits each year. The Food and Drug Administration's attempts to place warning labels on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the past has been largely unsuccessful, as demonstrated not only by the numbers of people who smoke, but the numbers of people who experience negative health effects and even deaths related to smoking.

Nicotine in cigarettes and tobacco products causes people to become addicted to smoking.

With due respect to the FDA - the entire package of cigarettes could be covered in warning labels and people who are addicted to smoking would still buy and smoke cigarettes. Nicotine is highly-addictive and people who smoke and desire to quit smoking find themselves reaching for everything from nicotine patches to nicotine lozenges in attempts to put cigarettes out of their lives.

There are clinics and support groups in existence with the sole purpose of assisting people to quit smoking.

Nicotine, as well as many other potentially destructive ingredients in cigarettes and other tobacco products, keep even people who quit for periods of time craving tobacco. The sight of someone smoking or the smell of a cigarette can be enough to get a person who has quit to reach for a cigarette.

Until the FDA makes nicotine and other destructive ingredients that the tobacco industry adds to tobacco illegal, nothing will change. The advertisements will do little to nothing. To get people to quit smoking, it would be far wiser to force the tobacco industry to slowly diminish the amount of nicotine and other added ingredients in their tobacco products over a period of around six to nine months until there is no nicotine or other added unhealthy ingredients in cigarettes or other tobacco products. Then the FDA should make nicotine and unhealthy added ingredients formerly used in tobacco products illegal.

Smokers would find themselves going through a process very much like using nicotine patches over time, only their tobacco products and cigarettes would contain less and less nicotine. Before long cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco would taste bad to smokers. They would find themselves without an addiction to nicotine or the many other unhealthy added ingredients in tobacco. It would be far easier for smokers to quit smoking. At that point, the warning labels the FDA is proposing may truly be effective.

In other words - the new warning labels the FDA is producing are a very meek effort.

The problem; nicotine and additive addiction, remains un-approached. Large industries such as the tobacco industry have a great amount of political sway in America, leading; perhaps, to such meek efforts. Until the government puts aside the special interest of tobacco in favor of the citizens of this nation and our health - nothing will change where smoking is concerned. The warning labels coming in June of this year are just short of a waste of time. They are more of a statement saying that the government supports the tobacco special interest than anything else.

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