Could Graphic Images on Cigarette Packaging Help People Quit?
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule that would force tobacco companies to include graphic cigarette packaging. Without a doubt, the rates of smoking in the United States have plummeted over the past fifty years, representing one of the most successful public health campaigns in the history of the country. Unfortunately, there are still many people who are addicted to the nicotine and other chemicals included in cigarettes. This has led to detrimental health effects for not only the people who smoke cigarettes but for those who are exposed to it in a secondhand nature. Because of this, there has been a proposed rule by the FDA to start including graphic warning labels on the packaging of all tobacco products.
Graphic Cigarette Packaging Already Included in Other Countries
Those who have visited other countries, such as Australia, have likely seen a stark difference in the way that cigarettes are packaged and sold. Visitors are often taken aback by the graphic nature of the cigarette packaging in other countries. Some of the warnings that people might notice on these packages include black lungs, swollen tongues, obvious cancerous tumors, and gangrenous skin disease. These are only a few of the examples of graphic cigarette packaging in countries all over the world.
For years, people in the United States have been spared from these shocking images; however, all of that might be about to change. Recently, the FDA announced its intention to include such images on cigarette packaging here. The tobacco industry is fighting back, as it has before, attempting to avoid responsibility for their products.
Not the First Attempt to Include Graphic Images on Tobacco Products
This is not the first time that the FDA has attempted to include realistic photographs to detail the health risks of smoking. The FDA’s rule was actually supposed to be implemented in the past; however, the tobacco companies challenged this rule in court. They were successful in their claim that the photos were intended to be scare tactics. The images were ruled to be a violation of the First Amendment.
This time around, the FDA claims that they have generated 13 warnings that are not mere scare tactics but are factual dangers of smoking. According to the FDA, more needs to be done to educate the public regarding the health risks related to smoking. These are risks not only to the people who smoke cigarettes but also those who are exposed to its toxins.
An Effort to Highlight a Variety of Issues
Children in school have been the beneficiaries of such a strong public health campaign that there now exists a stigma around smoking. This has led people to believe that the risks of smoking amount to common sense. Unfortunately, according to the FDA, this is not the case.
There are still numerous people who are oblivious to the health risks of cigarette smoking. Furthermore, the warning label from the Surgeon General has become all but invisible on existing cigarette packaging. The goal of these new warning labels from the FDA is to better highlight these health risks. In addition to lung cancer, other health risks include an increased risk of diabetes, blindness, and impotence, of which people might not be aware. With the new graphic cigarette packaging, the public will be aware of the full scope of cigarette smoking’s harms and make tobacco companies take responsibility for their products.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Graphic cigarette packaging might be included on future warning labels to educate the public. If your loved one has developed serious health issues after using tobacco products, please contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
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Citation of Photo: Pixabay.
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