I haven’t held a pack of cigarettes in 20 years so I was shocked lately when I saw what’s in the packaging. It was not only the warnings in words but also pictures of cancer-ridden lungs that were shown. For many people, however, these pictures are not shocking enough.
Apparently this type of packaging is not true for all countries although the US seems to be going towards this direction.
According to the Lung Action Network of the American Lung Association (ALA):
Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its plan to require all cigarette packages to have stronger warnings, and—for the first time ever—picture messages that would cover the top half of the front and back of the cigarette packs. That’s 50 percent of the pack!
The FDA has proposed several warnings and is asking the public to help out in making the right choice. Together with graphics, here are some of the messages that the FDA is proposing:
- Warning: cigarettes are addictive.
- Warning! Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
- Warning: cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
- Warning: cigarettes cause cancer.
- Warning: cigarettes cause throat, lung, mouth cancer.
- Warning: cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
- Warning: smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
- Warning: Smoking can kill you.
- Warning: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
- Warning: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.
The ALA is actively campaigning to the public to help the FDA pick the strongest and most effective warning messages. One of these is displayed in this post.
You can send the FDA an email and say what you think and which one, in your opinion, should be used in future cigarette packaging. The packaging should not only discourage young people to start smoking but also encourage smokers to quit or seek assistance for quitting. The ALA, for example, is also proposing the nationwide hotline for smokers who want to quit, “1-800-QUIT-NOW” to be displayed prominently on the pack.
The campaign is now ongoing and goes on till January 11, 2011. Take Action Now!
Photo credit: US FDA