opinion

What editorial writers are saying about cigarette warnings

The federal government recently unveiled proposed graphic warning labels to appear on cigarette packages and in advertisements. What will be their effect?

Posted Nov. 29, 2010.

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Some editorial writers say the striking photos and illustrations, which leave no doubt to the dangers of smoking, will help people kick the habit. But others doubt the warnings will make a difference.

Cigarette warnings can be a lifesaver

No doubt, there will be lobby efforts in the new Congress to undermine the FDA's undertaking. This campaign must proceed. It could be one of the most important public health efforts ever. The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Nov. 15

Tobacco porn

The goal is to deter smoking by inducing disgust. Certainly the pictures will validate the aversion of nonsmokers. But among teens, they could have the opposite effect. They will appeal to kids who embrace tobacco mainly because it annoys their elders. Chicago Tribune, Nov. 13

Putting a scary face on smokes

Smokers light up for a variety of reasons: It's calming and it's a diet aid because it acts as an appetite suppressant. For young people, smoking has a glamorous aura. Most longtime smokers are unlikely to stop, but maybe the new warning labels, when combined with anti-smoking education initiatives, will help prevent a new generation of smokers. The (Memphis, Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, Nov. 12

Images should stop some from smoking

This issue does raise the slippery-slope argument around government regulation -- for instance, will scenes from drunken driving crashes on alcohol bottles be next? But whereas alcohol use is safe in moderation for most people of legal drinking age, medical experts say there's no safe amount of tobacco smoke. Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette, Nov. 18

Cigarette labels may not help smokers quit

What would have been a revolutionary idea a decade or two ago is now at risk of being white noise. Finding anyone in 2010 who doesn't know smoking is dangerous is difficult. Prevention programs such as D.A.R.E. have done a decent job at educating youth about risks; if a teenager is going to smoke, no photo of a man in a coffin is likely to deter them. The (Oshkosh, Wis.) Northwestern, Nov. 16

Smoking kills

Some tobacco companies have filed a lawsuit to block the new warnings, showing again their lack of scruples when it comes to protecting public health. The FDA should fight back and approve the new packaging rule next year. Florida (Melbourne) Today, Nov. 12

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