Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Cigarette Labels Go Too Far

Smoking is a nasty, awful habit, and it has severe health ramifications for those who smoke and for those around them. Smoking without a doubt has been linked to lung cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer, heart disease, and any number of other health concerns.

The federal government, in its effort to curb smoking, passed a law a year or so ago that changed the warning labels for cigarettes to include disturbing images illustrating the kinds of things that might happen to someone if they smoke. It is a brilliant plan, but I think it goes too far. You can see the labels and an article from USA Today here.

First of all, I really doubt that it's going to work. I have lived with smokers, and I am completely amazed that despite all the taxes that have jacked the prices of cigarettes up and up and up, most of my friends still smoke. A picture or two of a diseased lung or a tracheotomy probably won't stop them from smoking. Smokers are well aware by now of the damage they are doing to their bodies.

I suppose that this method could stop new smokers from picking up cigarettes in the first place, and that's not a bad thing. The method though, I still have some sort of problem with. I mean drinking and driving kills people. Do we now put pictures of mangled corpses on beer cans? Perhaps even damaged livers?

Something just feels icky to me about this. I can't explain it, and please don't misunderstand me. If you're smoking, it would be best that you stopped. I just don't know if these warning labels would help me do it.


Anonymous said...

Smokers cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Anything that can be tried to stop this stinking habit needs to be tried. I would like to see an additional one dollar per pack tax on cigarettes.

DallasDeckard said...

I'm a conservative Republican and I agree with you, this is too much. You are exactly right, what do we do next, put pictures of mangled bodies on whiskey bottles? Do we put pictures of automobile accidents on gasoline cans? Pictures of morbidly obese people on packages of cookies? How about pictures of syphilis sores on packs of condoms. This is absurd and wrong.