Public Policy | Natural Health Podcast

Date: 09/30/2011

New Cigarette Warning Labels

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Pending legislation would force tobacco companies to attach very graphic warning labels, including disturbing images, to cigarette packages.  The proposed warnings include one that would show a corpse with a stitched-up chest and feature the caption: "Warning: Smoking can kill you." Another shows a man smoking through a hole in his throat with the caption, "Warning: Cigarettes are addictive." And a third juxtaposes an image of healthy lungs against an image of black lungs, with the warning, "Smoking causes fatal lung disease." These warnings would appear on the entire top half of the front and back of the package. And any advertisements for cigarettes also would include the warnings with a number for stop-smoking hotlines.

Assuming the legislation goes into effect as scheduled, the bigger question is, will it work? Already, 46 countries have laws requiring that cigarettes bear similar graphic labels, but no data is available yet to track effectiveness. Some say that a mere picture of a corpse won't be enough to deter a determined smoker, but others think that the images certainly will make a dent.

Listen to Jon's health podcast to understand more about this pending legislation and why graphic warning labels may be on the rise!

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