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.