been told for years that smoking tobacco cigarettes causes health complications.
The Surgeon General's Warning mentions health hazards like lung cancer, heart
disease, emphysema and pregnancy complications. Now, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) is issuing new graphic cigarette labels in an effort to
encourage users to quit smoking.
The FDA is releasing new warning labels that show the negative health effects
of tobacco cigarettes in great detail, and it's easy to see why since recent
studies have found that cigarettes can cause genetic damage in a matter of minutes and
that the pollutant third-hand smoke can linger in homes long
after smokers move out. Tobacco is the cause of 443,000 deaths in
the U.S. annually.
For these reasons, the FDA has created the graphic labels to reinforce the
negative side effects of smoking. The nine new labels show images of rotting
teeth and gums, a man with a tracheotomy smoking, the corpse of a smoker, a
mother holding a child with smoke around them, and diseased lungs. In addition,
the labels will include phrases like "Cigarettes cause cancer" and
"Smoking can kill you." Also, a national quit smoking hotline number
is included on each pack.
"These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of
the health risks of smoking," said Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human
The labels are part of a law passed in 2009 that gave the federal government
the right to regulate tobacco. Part of these regulations includes the authority
to set guidelines for labeling, marketing and banning the products. The labels
were put in place after reviews of public comments, scientific literature and
the results from an FDA-contracted study.
The labels will be placed on the top half of the package, both on the front and
back. They must also be placed in advertisements as 20 percent of the ad.
While the U.S. was one of the first to introduce warning labels saying,
"Cigarettes may be hazardous to your health" in 1965, it isn't the
first country to introduce graphic cigarette labels. Over 30 countries have
released labels similar to the FDA's. In 2000, Canada released graphic warning
labels portraying gory images of the side effects of smoking, and since then,
smoking rates have been reduced from 26 percent to 20 percent. It is unclear
whether the labels were entirely responsible for the decline, as other
anti-smoking efforts were put in place at the time.
John R. Seffrin, American Cancer Society CEO, was ecstatic about the new FDA
labels saying they will "encourage adults to give up their deadly addiction to
cigarettes and deter children from starting in the first place."
In some areas, this has already started to work. According to the World Health
Organization, a survey conducted in countries with graphic warning labels
showed that 25 percent of smokers ended up quitting because
of the labels.
But not everyone is applauding the new effort. Smokers have complained about
the graphic nature of the labels, saying they're a little too much.
"This isn't about doing what's pleasant for people," said David
Hammond, a health behavior researcher at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
"It's about fulfilling the government's mandate if they're going to allow
these things to be sold. What's bothering people is the risk associated with
their behavior, not the warnings themselves."
As expected, cigarette companies are not too happy with the new labels either.
In fact, there is a pending federal lawsuit regarding the new graphic labels,
which was filed by Winston-Salem, Reynolds American Inc. (parent company of
R.J. Reynolds), Lorillard Inc. and others. The lawsuit claims that the
companies' brand names would be placed at the bottom of the package where they
cannot be seen since the labels would be placed at the top.
Smoking tobacco costs the U.S. economy about $200 billion in annual medical costs and
lost productivity. The FDA estimates that the number of smokers will be reduced
by 213,000 in 2013 thanks to the new graphic labels. It also predicts that
smaller reductions will occur through 2031 as well.
Producers of cigarettes have until Fall 2012 to comply with the new graphic
warning labels. Labels and official information can be found here.
quote: but this seems like a reasonable approach.
quote: I drink on some weekends but i plan for it and i dont drive, usually stay at home or a buddys house when doing so or have a DD lined up.
quote: They are just providing a product the people want.
quote: You might say the same of drug dealers, pimps, assassins, foreign spies, Chinese hackers, and any number of other providers of generally illegal goods and services. By your logic people want these things, so they might as well be legal. And I suppose I should be able to start a business peddling weaponized anthrax because there are some people who want that product, too.
quote: But if morals are excluded, then what's the point of having any laws whatsoever? What do you suggest basing such ethic-less laws on if not some rational and objective concept of morality and justice?
quote: You might say the same of drug dealers, pimps, assassins, foreign spies, Chinese hackers, and any number of other providers of generally illegal goods and services. By your logic people want these things, so they might as well be legal.
quote: But if morals are excluded, then what's the point of having any laws whatsoever?
quote: And I suppose I should be able to start a business peddling weaponized anthrax because there are some people who want that product, too.
quote: one doesn't have to look too hard at precedent to see that society does in fact have no qualms about imposing restrictions on certain goods and services that it deems unsavory, regardless of how popular those goods and services may be.
quote: What do you suggest basing such ethic-less laws on if not some rational and objective concept of morality and justice?
quote: I'm an ex-smoker (I was addicted for ten years, from 15-25). It was brutally hard to quit (it took quite a few tries, too), and no matter the pleasure one quickly starts to feel from smoking tobacco, here is the mechanism it is built on: you feel pain because of nicotine withdrawal, so the pleasure and relaxation that comes from smoking is actually just due to the temporary removal of the artificially painful state that inevitably follows massive doses of nicotine getting dumped on the system. The 'pleasure' is a lie. Smoking is a dirty lie on so many levels: smokers reek, kissing a smoker tastes nasty, and 2nd-hand smoke is a proven killer. Smoking is not cool.
quote: Regarding the type of dude I'm replying to: they love to think all-encompassing thoughts like 'more liberty is better' or 'less government is better', when in fact it should be 'less bad government / more good government', 'more good liberty, less bad liberty', etc.
quote: 'more good liberty, less bad liberty'
quote: Smoking feels good, but on a deeper analysis it never is good. Wait enough years and you will regret the heart disease and other premature aging your body will have suffered, no matter how fun it was to be a teenager and just want to try it out.
quote: And as far as his "Show me rational and objective and we can talk": people naturally assume others are like themselves, so people who are not coherent in their own thoughts assume that others are the same.
quote: Sorry, but big tobacco companies number among the small handful of organizations that are even more morally bankrupt than Apple, when viewed from a business-practices standpoint. Screw their freedom. They have shown that they are unable to use it responsibly, and when people start harming others by being irresponsible with their freedom they have that freedom taken away.
quote: The rules for companies and the rules for individuals should not be so vastly disproportionate that if I get drunk and then kill someone with my car I get sent to jail, but if I start a company that sells products that I know are gradually lethal and which kill thousands of my customers each year I get rewarded for it with untold riches. If that's the kind of "freedom" you support, then you're part of that aforementioned group of morons.
quote: Alcohol is safe for you (in quantity) and others around you provided you don't do anything stupid while drinking (your example of drinking and driving).
quote: If tobacco is done away with by the government, the they will be emboldened to attack other things they perceive as harmful to us. Alcohol will be one of the next ones, and instead of trying all out prohibition for moral reasons as before, they will slowly attack it for "health" reasons as they have tobacco. Once you start making people wonder about it harming them then the regulations can begin to increase. Next thing you know a can of beer will cost you $15 because they need to tax it to help cover the health costs it causes. If the manage to nix alcohol then beaches, ,steaks, fast food, mountain climbing, skateboarding, auto racing, ect, will become targets to help make us more healthy.
quote: Someone once made a statement that war increases death rates, but that isn't true either. The rate of death is equal to the rate of birth, it is a 100% correlation over each generation.
quote: "Someone once made a statement that war increases death rates, but that isn't true either. The rate of death is equal to the rate of birth, it is a 100% correlation over each generation." Then why are there more people on Earth than there were, say, 200 years ago? Why do we bother with a Census?
quote: If I agreed with you I would then ask why is this not also required of alcohol products to show mangled bodies in a car wreak on every can or bottle? Taking someone else's life is worse then taking your own, no? Why are we starting with cigs?
quote: Alcohol isn't inherently dangerous to you or to other peoples health. Alcohol in moderation doesn't damage your body, many studies actually show it is beneficial. Alcohol is only an issue when it is abused.
quote: Or let's get really wacky and require pictures of the bodies of drowning victims be posted around all pools? There are other dangers out there besides drugs.
quote: I guess going by the numbers game, drinking is responsible for maybe 1/6 of smoking related deaths, so smoking seems like a better place to try this imagery approach.
quote: Sorry, this is just a bad analogy. I can feel myself rolling down the slippery slope.
quote: If I agreed with you I would then ask why is this not also required of alcohol products to show mangled bodies in a car wreak on every can or bottle? Taking someone else's life is worse then taking your own, no?
quote: Quit being a religious fanatic.
quote: Get real. There is no measurable risk to occasionally inhaling second hand smoke.
quote: 1. Risk or no, it's very, very unpleasant to a non-smoker.
quote: Would smokers mind if I spit on them? As long as it's not near their mouth, there's no measurable risk from that too.
quote: 2. There is a shared economic cost in the form of health care for smokers via Medicare/Medicaid and hospital emergency room laws
quote: Since non-smokers are helping pay for it, they get to have a say in whether you should be allowed to do it.
quote: That's absurd! You're directly violating my personal space and putting bodily fluids on me! You can't believe this is the same thing as wisps of smoke that don't smell good.
quote: Same thing as fat people, drinkers, and those who participate in extreme sports and other hazardous lifestyles. Do we really wanna go down this road?
quote: That's absurd! You're directly violating my personal space and putting carcinogenic substances in me!
quote: No, because it's not carcinogenic.
quote: Again, I'm going to try and explain this to you, because something is technically a carcinogen does NOT mean you will absorb the required toxicity level to actually GET cancer from it. We breath in, eat, and drink carcinogens EVERY day. Why don't we all always get cancer? Toxicity levels!
quote: Glad to know you're an idiot when it comes to your knowledge of what a carcinogen is. Even minimal trace amounts of carcinogens are enough to cause cancer. It simply becomes a statistical model of more carcinogen = more cancerous cells.
quote: Do you think they might have an agenda?
quote: 1. Risk or no, it's very, very unpleasant to a non-smoker. Would smokers mind if I spit on them? As long as it's not near their mouth, there's no measurable risk from that too.
quote: Obviously I'm not going to read something this massive, but a large majority of it seems mostly concerned with weather or not Phillip Morris "knew" tobacco products were addictive. Which has nothing to do with our discussion.
quote: Even as recent as 2010, the surgeon generals report has stated that second hand smoke causes immediate damage to ones organs.
quote: I was hoping you would read it, but alas, whatever.
quote: How can you support such behavior? That's intellectually and ethically bankrupt.
quote: The fact is that there is documented proof out there of people dying of cancer caused by seconds hand smoke. You think not? google is your friend - look it up.
quote: However if I walk into a closed room with people smoking in it, I end up smelling like a damned ashtray? Why should I? I don't freaking smoke!
quote: Frankly I find the smoke you and people with your attitude blow on me offensive.
quote: Frankly I the people who put the argument up that second-hand smoke is dangerous appear a little more credible than the people funded by tobacco companies that state otherwise.
quote: I wonder if anyone has charged someone that blew their secondhand smoke on them with assault. After all the evidence just as much there - simple forensics on the clothes would show the toxic chemicals you spewed on me.
quote: toxic chemicals
quote: You just can't beat this argument because deep down you know I am right.
quote: You can spray all the chemicals or whatever you want in the air, as long as they aren't controlled substances. I don't care. It's only your money you'll be wasting. And you'll probably be the one who ends up breathing it in lol.
quote: No because that's public harassment. Sorry but smoking is legal, so just because YOU feel harassed doesn't make it so. You do NOT have a right to not be offended. But you do NOT have the right to go around spraying people with chemicals.
quote: Your freedoms stop when they infringe on someone else's rights, especially when they are harmful to the others around them.
quote: But where do you draw the line? Just about everything can be proven to have an external effect....
quote: (if it even IS one)
quote: Yes, but again, dose makes the poison. There isn't ENOUGH toxicity in second hand smoke to have real-world health impacts.
quote: Sorry but the simple fact is that if you were right, we would ALL be walking around riddled with all kinds of cancers. It's not "denialist", it's logic. If NO level of second hand smoke was safe, and second hand smoke was a highly toxic carcinogen, almost ALL of us would have lung cancer.
quote: Sorry, but you are forgetting the simple fact that our bodies to a certain extent REPAIR THEMSELVES.
quote: the fact that something is a known carcinogen now being put on someone becomes more a matter of "what can that specific person in that specific instance bear"
quote: If NO level of second hand smoke was safe, and second hand smoke was a highly toxic carcinogen, almost ALL of us would have lung cancer.
quote: quote: If NO level of second hand smoke was safe, and second hand smoke was a highly toxic carcinogen, almost ALL of us would have lung cancer. Reduce arguments to the absurd much? Just because trace amounts CAN cause cancer, doesn't mean that they WILL cause cancer. Do you ever get tired of being an absolutist?
quote: For carcinogens, data from animal experiments and human exposures are analyzed to determine whether a safe dose can be identified. If there is no dose below which the chemical is considered safe, the standard is set at the lowest concentration that can feasibly be achieved with available technology. For example, the experiment where one of these PAH's dilutes was painted on the skin of lab rats. It was concluded that there was no known safe dose as even rats that had only been treated once with the smallest quantity of the weakest dilute possible developed skin cancer. Further study demonstrated that instances of skin cancer in the rats were directly proportional to the concentration of the mixture, the number of applications and time.
quote: Do they really think that just by putting a few drawings on these packs/cartons will really do anything?
quote: They've had similarly graphic photos of really gross stuff on cigs in Canada for, like, ever. Made no difference.
quote: As I noted above, such labels have been in use in Canada for a very long time. No effect.
quote: It seems it there was an effect. The only question being whether the effect is attributable to the ads.
quote: Question: why should I pay for the healthcare costs of caring for people with cancer, due in large part to smoking?
quote: Question: if you are against gross excessive warning labels on products that are proven to be dangerous, are you also agaisnt banning simmilar products [cocaine, herorine, etc]
quote: Unless you're uninsured or in an exclusively non-smoking insurance pool, you already are paying for their lung cancer.
quote: Tobacco is the cause of 443,000 deaths in the U.S. annually.
quote: So if a dictator/ruler kills a few thousan people we go to war against him.
quote: Tobacco lures young kids...teens..young adults...
quote: killing almost 1/2million poeple a year in the US alone
quote: Makes me wonder why we allow the selling of these "death-sticks"?
quote: The housing bubble was caused by artificial low lending rates from the Federal Reserve and it was the prime reason why we are in this mess
quote: Exploiting weakness is such a broad meaning...
quote: "These labels are sensationalist, manipulative depictions of the health risks of smoking,"