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Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Old 11-11-10, 01:32 PM
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Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Apparently people don't realize how bad tobacco is for them, so the goverment is proposing a new set of warnings on cigarettes.



WASHINGTON — Federal drug regulators on Wednesday unveiled 36 proposed warning labels for cigarette packages, including one showing a toe tag on a corpse and another in which a mother blows smoke on her baby.

Designed to cover half the surface area of a pack or carton of cigarettes, and a fifth of any advertisements for them, the labels are intended to spur smokers to quit by providing graphic reminders of tobacco’s dangers. The labels are required under a law passed last year that gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate, but not ban, tobacco products for the first time.

Public health officials hope that the new labels will re-energize the nation’s antismoking efforts, which have stalled in recent years. About 20.6 percent of the nation’s adults, or 46.6 million people, and about 19.5 percent of high school students, or 3.4 million teenagers, are smokers.

Every day, about 1,000 children and teenagers become regular smokers, and 4,000 try smoking for the first time. About 440,000 people die every year from smoking-related health problems, and the cost to treat such problems exceeds $96 billion a year.

Some cigarette manufacturers vowed to fight the labels in federal court, saying they infringe the companies’ property and free-speech rights. A federal judge in Kentucky ruled in January in a related lawsuit that the F.D.A. could require graphic warning labels but that a proposed restriction intended to eliminate attractive coloring from cigarette packaging infringes free speech. That ruling has been appealed.

“The use of graphic warnings makes no contribution to the awareness of these risks and serves only to stigmatize smokers and denormalize smoking,” said Anthony Hemsley, a vice president at Commonwealth Brands, the maker of USA Gold cigarettes.

Among the most arresting of the proposed labels is one in which a man exhales smoke through a hole in his neck. Some smokers who suffer cancer of the larynx must breathe through a tracheotomy instead of their nose or mouth. But the proposed labels are not as gruesome as some mandated in Europe, in which ghastly photos of blackened teeth and decaying mouths give a Halloween aspect to cigarette packs.

“Today marks an important milestone in protecting our children and the health of the American public,” Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Wednesday.

The United States was the first country to require tobacco products to bear health warnings, and all cigarette packages now sold in the country have modest ones like “Surgeon General’s Warning: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.”

But 39 other countries have gone well beyond such brief warnings and now require large, graphic depictions of smoking’s effects. With Wednesday’s announcement, the United States — whose first European settlements in the 17th century helped to create and feed a global tobacco addiction — edged a step closer to joining those nations’ efforts to reduce the centuries-old epidemic of tobacco-related deaths.

“This is the most important change in cigarette health warnings in the history of the United States,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Studies suggest that pictorial warnings are better at getting the attention of adolescents than ones that feature only text; make smokers more likely to skip the cigarette they had planned to smoke and more likely to quit; and make adolescents less likely to start smoking.

But health officials said there was some evidence that the most gruesome images, while memorable, are dismissed sooner by smokers. Health Canada recently backed away from a plan to introduce even more gruesome warnings, earning the government a rebuke from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Sometimes images that are not as graphic may be more powerful in terms of changing behaviors,” said Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products.

The F.D.A. has hired a company to survey 18,000 smokers to determine which labels might be most effective in getting smokers to quit and preventing adolescents from starting. Results were expected to be published within weeks and will be used along with public and expert comments to help winnow the 36 proposed labels to 9 by June.

By Oct. 22, 2012, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to distribute cigarettes for sale in the United States that do not display the graphic warnings. They will be required to allocate all nine warnings evenly.

Dr. Howard K. Koh, the assistant secretary for health, said in an interview that the new labels were part of the Obama administration’s comprehensive tobacco control plan that includes $250 million to support state and local antitobacco efforts.

“We want to not only support the new F.D.A. regulatory authority but reinvigorate the national commitment to ending the tobacco epidemic,” he said.

Tobacco retailers may face challenges displaying the new packaging because many stores show only the tops of cigarette packs, where the warnings would be shown, obscuring the brands. And high-end tobacco shops, which make much of their money from cigars and loose tobacco, may not want the warnings near their more expensive products.

“It may end up being that we stop carrying cigarettes,” said Ben Blackman, manager of Georgetown Tobacco in Washington. Such a result, of course, would delight public health officials.

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the F.D.A. commissioner, said the agency would continue to monitor the effectiveness of the labels even after choosing its final nine. And if it decided that a different label would perform better than one already chosen, the agency would make a change, Dr. Hamburg said.

“We’re trying to reach a range of subpopulations and figure out what works best for whom,” she said. “When the rule takes effect, the health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes.”

Dr. Richard D. Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic, said he was hopeful the labels would save lives, though he said a higher federal tax and tougher workplace restrictions were also needed.

“The evidence is that graphic labels do make a difference in enticing smokers to stop smoking,” he said.

Still, Dr. Hurt predicted that cigarette makers would devise ways to blunt the labels’ effects with slip covers and other packaging. “It’ll be interesting to see what they try to do,” he said.
The labels are hillarious, but does anyone think they'll actually make a difference?
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Old 11-11-10, 01:44 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Of course they won't make a difference. Is there really anyone out there now that doesn't know smoking is bad for your health? And yet not only do people continue to smoke, but new people start smoking every day. If they want to smoke, then that's their choice. I think it's dumb to smoke, but I also don't care if people do it, just so long as they aren't blowing smoke in my face.

I wonder how much money this will end up costing; including designing, implementing, fighting in court, etc. Then I also have to wonder what this means for other things the government disapproves of. Are they going to force fast food chains to have pictures of obese people or diabetes or something on the bags? Will we have pictures of corpses and car crashed on bottles of alcohol? This just seems like a big step in the wrong direction.
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Old 11-11-10, 01:47 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Belongs here:
Canada did it, why can't we?

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Old 11-11-10, 01:50 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by kstublen View Post
Of course they won't make a difference. Is there really anyone out there now that doesn't know smoking is bad for your health? And yet not only do people continue to smoke, but new people start smoking every day.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:01 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by starman9000 View Post
I thought about Canada too -- have their altered packs reduced smoking?
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Old 11-11-10, 02:40 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Ireland had big warning labels when I was there.

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Old 11-11-10, 02:43 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Its not easy to stop. It is an addiction, so we must treat it as such., just as we treat alcoholism. We should set up treatment centers and support groups for those who need them. These treatments should be covered by their insurance.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:47 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Smokeless tobacco now has a warning across the bottom third of the can, I've seen.

If the government sold it, they'd still have vending machines. I deduce this based on the fact that I have suddenly seen lotto vending machines pop up. Not okay if you are under 18 (just like tobacco), but it increases sales to the state, so we'll make an exception.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:48 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by dork View Post
What caused the mid-90s spike? Backlash against the tobacco settelment?
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Old 11-11-10, 02:50 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Since teens only report 1 cig or more for the 30 days preceding, I'd bet most didn't say they were smokers early on, and then started to say that they had one at a party, or something. That is also why a larger percentage are shown as smokers.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:52 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Yes, it's a dumb measure. The only measure that matters is addiction. So a better question would be "those who have smoked 10+ cigarettes for the last 30 days" or something to that effect.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:54 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

I don't get this one.

I love smoking in cold weather and on rainy days. Hot coffee and a cigarette out on my porch on a rainy day is probably one of my top 5 favorite things in life.
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Old 11-11-10, 03:04 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

What I would find funny is if everyone stopped smoking one day and the gov. loses bazillions in revenue. Then what? A clean air tax? Don't they make more money on cigs than the companies do?
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Old 11-11-10, 03:05 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
What caused the mid-90s spike? Backlash against the tobacco settelment?
Those were the years I was in high school.
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Old 11-11-10, 03:05 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
What caused the mid-90s spike? Backlash against the tobacco settelment?
Nope.

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Old 11-11-10, 03:36 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Yes, it's a dumb measure. The only measure that matters is addiction. So a better question would be "those who have smoked 10+ cigarettes for the last 30 days" or something to that effect.
10 in 30 days? I've never met a smoker who could go twelve hours with lighting up.
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Old 11-11-10, 04:20 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

I'm tired of this crap.

I'm not a smoker. Never have been. I don't mind people that smoke. My dad smoked almost the entire time I lived at home. I remember riding in planes before they were non-smoking (and didn't think it was that big of a deal).

But I'm tired of the time, resources and cost of this crap. I'm now leaning to just ban them. I mean the only reason they are not banned now is because of all the money (taxes) brought in from them. But I'm tired of our government saying "stop smoking" while they make billions off of those that do.
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Old 11-11-10, 04:28 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Why do people take up smoking? The chance to take a 15 minute break every hour that nobody else gets is a pretty big incentive, I think.
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Old 11-11-10, 04:53 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Why do people take up smoking? The chance to take a 15 minute break every hour that nobody else gets is a pretty big incentive, I think.
Worth dying of cancer? I'd rather work hard and die of something stress-related. At least its quick.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:17 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

People still smoke because it is awesome. I wish I could still do it.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:18 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Why do people take up smoking? The chance to take a 15 minute break every hour that nobody else gets is a pretty big incentive, I think.
In CA you're not required to give additional breaks to smokers, and I never would. As a lifelong non-smoker, I saw no reason to reward people for their bad habits when other people get no similar reward.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:43 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

I've neveer smoked, but I used to take a break with all the other smokers back in the day. If they're going to stand outside and not work for 15 minutes, why shouldn't i?

Now I work on a large campus that is entirely smoke-free. I feel sorry for anyone who smokes -- you basically have to get in your car and drive down the street if you want a cigarette.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:45 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
As a lifelong non-smoker, I saw no reason to reward people for their bad habits when other people get no similar reward.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:46 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

I've never smoked cigarettes with maybe half a dozen exceptions, they just don't do it for me. This is a stupid new rule, sure smoking dropped across the decades cause at first, no one knew it was bad for you. But that argument doesn't fly today, no one in America doesn't know the harm smoking does to your body.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:50 PM
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Re: Cigarettes Are Bad For You. We Really Mean It. Why Won't You Listen?

Next they'll be putting public service anouncements on DVD's...oh wait.
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