Editorial: Smokers Beware

By the fall of 2012 all cigarette makers will have graphic warning labels on cigarette packs depicting the health risks of smoking. These warnings, soon to be on the front and back of all packs, will constitute 50% of the top of the packaging as mandated by the Food and Drug Administration.  The FDA is also requiring the addition of a toll-free phone number to the labels that smokers can call to get advice on quitting.

Smoking-related diseases cause about 443,000 deaths a year in the U.S., according to government estimates and the FDA.  The FDA estimates these warnings alone will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 in 2013.

As someone that grew up with parents who smoked and have children that I do not want to start, these warnings are welcomed.  This not about being insensitive to those addicted to nicotine, but about saving lives now and in the future by taking the glamour out of smoking and using negative images to highlight the ill effects.

We hope everyone who wants to quit gets the help and support needed to quit and hopefully with this new packaging mandate those that are thinking about starting – won't.

We welcome your feedback.

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