The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has total regulatory control over cigarettes and now plans on taking radical new steps in its campaign to snuff out smoking without banning it completely.
Beginning Oct. 22, 2012, packs of cigarettes will feature a text warning and vivid color picture of the potential consequences of smoking – additions that will cover the upper half of the front and back of packages.
There’s hope the images, which will feature pictures of dead bodies and cancerous body parts, will make smokers quit and prevent new smokers from picking up the habit.
Unfairly targeting cigarette makers and smokers, this latest move to bully the American public into abstaining from smoking goes too far.
The highly educated leaders behind the FDA’s decision seem to hold a bias that may be rampant among those with the power that allows them to make bold moves like this.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 41.3 percent of those with only a GED certificate smoke cigarettes, while only 5.7 percent of those with a graduate degree smoke.
This disconnect may prevent them from seeing the hypocrisy of putting such drastic warning labels on products because they do not enjoy them.
If this measure is as effective as they claim it will be, then the FDA and other governmental regulatory bodies should require similar warnings on other dangerous products.
For example, alcohol packages could feature a picture of a DUI victim’s remains or a liver damaged by alcoholism. Fast food could come with pictures of someone who died from obesity complications, or maybe new sports cars could feature a picture of an accident victim who died while speeding.
In addition, guns could feature a gunshot victim’s photo, or perhaps a new computer or video game system could show pictures of bedsores and obesity, to illustrate what overuse can do to someone.
It doesn’t take much imagination to picture how far this technique can be taken, as many things can become dangerous to one’s health or safety much quicker than cigarettes.
Americans have the right to know what’s bad for them, but they don’t need the government to scare them into making decisions.
Most smokers are aware of the adverse health risks, yet they persist with the habit anyway.
This approach will have minimal effects beyond angering smokers, who aren’t more likely to quit after viewing these images than from reading warning labels that detail the potential health consequences.