COMMENTARY | MSNBC reports that the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday unveiled warning graphics that will appear on all cigarette packaging by September 2012, in hopes to deter people from the habit. Some of these warning graphics include a dead body and rotted teeth that are stained yellow.
One thing I find interesting about these disturbing graphics is that they are aimed at younger people as a deterrent when, in reality, it will not stop younger children from smoking. You have to be 18 to smoke: You are a legal adult, and can make your own decisions about whether or not to start smoking.
I think it is wrong to put these images on the packages because young people will not care about an image on the outside of the product; they will still continue to smoke. I do think that this could deter people younger than 18, such as a 12 year old, but they are not legally able to purchase the cigarettes in the first place. This will not deter younger people as a whole because the images are like what children see in health class during school, and it obviously has not helped them stay away from smoking.
I also find it wrong that these images are mandatory for all cigarette manufacturers: This will just drive up the price of tobacco, which has already taken a huge hike in price over the past couple of years. The price of cigarettes will go up because of the fact these images will need to be generated and put onto every single package of cigarettes, which will get passed down to us, the consumers of the product.
This is wrong because some companies do not have the resources to pay for the images; they might go out of business because of it, which would then increase the jobless rate. This makes me glad I decided to roll my own cigarettes the majority of the time, because the prices are going to go up even more.
I find it offensive that the FDA is singling out tobacco when officials should be thinking of putting the same types of warnings on other products instead. When you go and purchase alcohol and then you get behind the wheel, you can do more damage in the world than just lighting up a cigarette. When you drink and drive, you are running the risk of injuring not only yourself but someone innocent as well.
I do not think that these images will deter someone from smoking as much as putting images of a wrecked car or mangled body would on a bottle of alcohol. I am not saying that people should not be warned about tobacco or the side effects, but I think that the government and FDA should also focus the same attention on alcohol and other things that could kill as well.
MSNBC, “From bad teeth to a corpse: New cigarette labels revealed”, MSNBC