Good news: New FDA graphics for cigarette packs might just make you vomit

posted at 6:00 pm on June 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

Your government wishes you to be healthy. And sometimes, good health requires a little preventive nausea.

Federal health officials on Tuesday released their final selection of nine graphic warning labels to cover the top half of cigarette packages beginning next year, over the opposition of tobacco manufacturers…

The four leading tobacco companies were all threatening legal action, saying the images would unfairly hurt their property and free-speech rights by obscuring their brand names in retail displays, demonizing the companies and stigmatizing smokers…

Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the F.D.A. Center for Tobacco Products, said the government estimates — based on other countries’ experience — that the new warning labels will prompt an additional 213,000 Americans to quit smoking next year…

A few smokers surveyed on New York sidewalks were unswayed by the images. Khariton Popilevsky, 46, a pawnbroker, shrugged and said, “Telling me things we already know. I’ll still be smoking.” Hayley Sapp, 28, a paralegal, said, “There are lots of other high risks out there, you know. Obesity is huge.” Saiful Islam, 34, a convenience store clerk, said higher prices would cut sales a lot more than the images on cigarette packs.

I wrote about this in November, when they were trying to decide on which nine to choose from 36 possible graphics. You can view the nine “winners” at the FDA’s page or at ABC, which prefaces its slideshow with a “viewer discretion” warning even though these pics will soon be staring you in the face at every newsstand, deli, and convenience store in America. (And yes, one of them is of a corpse.) Don’t be too distressed, though: This is just a transitional step, aimed at shaving a few more points off of the 20 percent or so of Americans who currently smoke, with an outright ban presumably to follow someday when the numbers get low enough. Sebelius was asked at today’s presser flat out whether cigarettes will eventually be illegal, and she allegedly replied, “We are making great strides.” I’ve been looking around for a transcript or video to confirm or debunk that but haven’t found any yet. If you have a link, e-mail us at tips.

The question now, as in November, is why stop at cigarettes? Ciggies may be addictive but the percentage of American smokers is actually lower than the percentage of obese residents for most states. How long before every Happy Meal box carries a photo of a 350-lb. man with his shirt off? Gotta control health-care costs somehow. Exit question for constitutional lawyers: How likely are the cigarette companies to prevail on their First Amendment claims? I know that the feds can regulate commercial speech more easily than other forms, but we’re on the doorstep here of the government making an entire industry’s advertising/branding choices for it.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Those images did nothing for me and I’m not even a smoker.

RDE2010 on June 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM

That’s because you (and most everyone) is used to gory scenes in movies. The solution is obvious: 3-D holographic projectors built into every pack, which will project life-size images of people dying horrible twitching deaths, bloody dissections of diseased lungs, mothers cackling in evil delight as they blow smoke into their crying children’s faces, etc.

Sure, that will boost the cost of a pack to $23,847, but it’s only because we care!

Splashman on June 21, 2011 at 8:00 PM

I love the subway ads that show kids pouring fat out of soda bottles! No problems here.

ernesto on June 21, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Nudge, Nudge…But on this one it is hard to know which way to nudge too. Those who want fundamental transformation don’t care of the tax money they get because money is not something that is needed in the new utopia. And do it for the power over people dumb people who don’t know what is good for them

But if you make something uncomfortable or a prohibition on tobacco yet make marijuana semi-legal (well not prosecuted like before) at the same time the useful idiots will riot.

tjexcite on June 21, 2011 at 8:02 PM

How likely are the cigarette companies to prevail on their First Amendment claims? I know that the feds can regulate commercial speech more easily than other forms, but we’re on the doorstep here of the government making an entire industry’s advertising/branding choices for it.

I’ve never understood why this isn’t a huge constitutional issue. I have a hard time believing that cigarette companies could lose in the Supreme Court.

JavelinaBomb on June 21, 2011 at 8:04 PM

They’re copycatting Canada. didn’t make a lick of difference there and 1/2 the pack is a disgusting or disturbing picture.

You know the government has gotten too big when a bunch of beauracrats come up with crap like this. they are seriously overstaffed and overfunded. Time to cut and cut deep, and when they squeal, cut some more. Overpaid Idiots!

maineconservative on June 21, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Young smokers are not just going to ignore these warnings, they are going to collect them like trading cards till they get a full set. In other words, this will promote more, not less, smoking…

I suppose, if the goal is to raise taxes by selling more cigs, this is a great idea. If it’s to have more folks die young of smoking and reducing social health care costs and social security costs — this is a spectacular idea…

drfredc on June 21, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Let’s see-what do teens like? Dancing on the edge of a razor blade? Why, yes. I know! Let’s make smoking more edgy, that will really turn them off. Yeah, ok.

di butler on June 21, 2011 at 8:53 PM

They’d scare more people off with these nine:
http://norunnyeggs.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Dem-Women.bmp

mrt721 on June 21, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Hell, why not show a graphic picture of a liposuction procedure, or an open-heart surgery on those evil Happy Meals?

Get off of my lawn.

hillbillyjim on June 21, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Yeah, just let pro-lifers use some graphics to depict the truth about abortion and watch people yell extremism.

JellyToast on June 21, 2011 at 9:39 PM

pro-choice = pro-smoke

Roy Rogers on June 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM

demonizing the companies and stigmatizing smokers…

Cigarettes cause cancer, ban cigarettes.

The sun causes cancer, ban the sun.

Life causes cancer, ban life.

rukiddingme on June 21, 2011 at 10:08 PM

I seriously think we need more graphics out there that warn people of the dangers of police states, the dangers of Fascism, communism and socialism.

JellyToast on June 21, 2011 at 10:09 PM

The solution to desensitization is obvious: everyone must be given a tobacco-caused cancer.

It’s the only way they’ll understand and appreciate the risks of getting cancer caused by using tobacco products.

Kensington on June 21, 2011 at 10:09 PM

If the Fed can require this, can it also require graphic pictures of aborted babies be placed in the lobbies of abortion clinics?

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on June 21, 2011 at 10:29 PM

I used to smoke, years ago. Every time I see someone smoking, I want to run up to them and give them a big open mouth kiss and suck all the smoke out of them.

Most people that I know who smoke, buy their tobacco in bulk and either roll their own or use a cigarette machine. It’s too expensive to buy by the pack.

Kini on June 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM

They have GOT to start banning fatties from flying. If you are not thin, you cannot fly coach. Period.

John the Libertarian on June 21, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Oh just wonderful. … and the fact that those of us who don’t smoke have to see these disgusting pictures didn’t even enter into the fascists’ decision process, did it? Frickin’ totalitarians.

AZfederalist on June 21, 2011 at 10:42 PM

If the Fed can require this, can it also require graphic pictures of aborted babies be placed in the lobbies of abortion clinics?

That’s the problem.

It opens the door for nuts to have the govt put up pictures everywhere of whatever they don’t agree with.

Next up, pictures of car wrecks in bars. Pictures of heart attacks in fast food places.

Moesart on June 21, 2011 at 10:46 PM

How about debilitating images of AIDS suffers to discourage men from homosexual activity?

sirpatrick on June 21, 2011 at 10:49 PM

I used to print out little pictures of dead camels, skulls and crossbones, diseased lungs and other gross things and slip them into my daughter’s cigarette packages to try to get her to stop smoking. I later found out her friends were collecting the packages because they thought they were cool.

I doubt this will work either.

Fallon on June 21, 2011 at 10:58 PM

This is “okay” by some libtard’s standards, yet pictures of aborted babies are intolerable?

Danny on June 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Proven Science: If you experiment on lab rats, they will develop cancer.

ss396 on June 22, 2011 at 12:05 AM

I don’t smoke-singing and smoking don’t go together well-but my husband does.
while I wish he didn’t…it’s his right.
Period.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 22, 2011 at 1:12 AM

As others have said, we have a twisted government when they will require graphic images of cigarette damage allegedly due to increased healthcare costs when they couldn’t care less about the ended lives that come from abortion.

Proof that the whole discussion has nothing to do with preserving health, or lowering costs. It’s all about control.

rwenger43 on June 22, 2011 at 1:17 AM

This is not going to stop anyone from smoking.

Paid for by the Committee to Erect Anthony Weiner on June 22, 2011 at 1:17 AM

I seriously think we need more graphics out there that warn people of the dangers of police states, the dangers of Fascism, communism and socialism.

JellyToast on June 21, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I was getting all maudlin over here until I read that. “My country really is gone, isn’t it?” etc. etc., wah wah. The kind of clap you start thinking when you just bought a case of 100 W incandescent light bulbs as a present for your elderly Mom, and you just checked Hot Air and found open, unmitigated U.S. agitprop.

But now I have something constructive to do.

PS. You know, these stupid smoking apes that drag us down, keep us from being all we were meant to be – we need some final solution to all this. Enough is enough. It isn’t enough to make people understand how dirty and revolting these inhuman apes are in general, we must identify them in particular. And I don’t mean relying on their obvious smoking to self-identify; I mean we must be able to identify them all the time when they are in public, when they are hiding among us. Their sickening touch hurts our children, they heat up the atmosphere and make the world hotter, they collapse our excellent German American health care infrastructure. They stink like the apes they are, but there is perfume. I am not certain how to do this, perhaps a tattoo, or maybe some sort of patch.

Axe on June 22, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Smokers, get yours today

Dollayo on June 22, 2011 at 2:54 AM

They can’t prove one person dies from smoking a year.
Stalin………….free us!

lilium on June 22, 2011 at 5:05 AM

I always get a kick out of the “low birth weight” warning-doesn’t that make it easier to abort them?

Drugs and alcohol are waaaay bigger problems. From what I’ve been hearing, the tweakers are slowly destroying American neighborhoods.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 22, 2011 at 5:15 AM

Don’t think they’ll institute a fat tax? What do you think they will replace cigarette tax revenue with? You could suggest the government do with less, but they’d just look at you funny.
As an ex-smoker let me remind my militant non-smoking friends that there are a lot of bad habits in the world, but one of the worst is being holier than thou.

SKYFOX on June 22, 2011 at 6:13 AM

One has to wonder at the minds of people who promote these tactics–it really says more about their own inner thought processes than they realize.

zoyclem on June 22, 2011 at 6:57 AM

I’m sure someone’s said this already (I haven’t read through all previous comments), but it’s generous of the Osama Administration to open the door for future conservative administrations to force abortion clinics to advertise with graphic photos of aborted “fetuses”. The precedent has been set.

olesparkie on June 22, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Dennis Lehry said it best when it comes to wasting time with ads like this. Namely, that you can put cigarettes in a black pack, with a skull and crossbones on the front cover, name them “TUMORS”, and smokers are still going to go out and buy the damned things!

pilamaye on June 22, 2011 at 7:51 AM

pilamaye on June 22, 2011 at 7:51 AM

Absolutely right. When I was smoking that wouldn’t have fazed me one bit. It might have confused my brand choice is all.

SKYFOX on June 22, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Axe on June 22, 2011 at 2:00 AM

You’re thinking like a good little liberal now.

Most HA people know this, the National Socialist Party in Germany was anti-smoking, anti-alcohol, anti-crime, pro euthanasia, pro-infanticide. In the soviet Union constitution (they had several-anyone can find this on the internet).. in the Soviet Union constitution there were laws protecting the environment and workers rights. Vacations were mandated in their constitution. The state built recreation centers where workers could go to relax, and that too was in one of their constitutions.

There is this video of Germans fleeing East Germany just before the wall came down, when East Germany was just on the verge of collapsing… it’s an emotional and telling video. But as I watch it, all I can think about is that all these people are fleeing everything our current Democrats and some RINO’s want to give us.. free health care, free housing… equal outcomes… so called workers rights… all of it. We do not appreciate our freedoms nor do we appreciate what these freedoms cost earlier generations.

I think cigarette smoking is pretty stupid. I think chewing tobacco is pretty stupid. But I really think a police state and fascism is more dangerous than tobacco smoke. How many people die from second hand Fascism? How many children have died at the hands of their own government, that acquired and stole power under the claim it needed power to protect children?

Here is the video I mentioned.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM2qq5J5A1s&feature=player_embedded

JellyToast on June 22, 2011 at 8:18 AM

This is a Entrepreneur opportunity.

As soon as the New Cigarette pack crosses over to the customer, there will be for sale a Traditional Cigarette pack container on sale, and the Horrible looking package can be dropped into a coozie container…….hiding the offending pictures, and looking like the fashion cell phone cases that are so popular.

As soon as you OWN that pack of cigarettes, you’re free to package it in an attractive container, case, holder…..with a compartment for a lighter attached, etc……

Screw you Government, take your regulation and shuv it !!!

JayTee on June 22, 2011 at 8:49 AM

My issue with this is when government moves from propositional warnings (verbal information that can be argued) to images subjectively chosen by regulators for their appeal to faculties other than pure reason.

State Lottos nauseate me much the same way, subverting the citizen’s reason by appealing to other impulses.

Heh. Our public schools churn out illiterates, then the government reverts to pre-literate means of communication.

Idiocracy, here we come.

rasqual on June 22, 2011 at 9:44 AM

They do this in Canada and it will probably come as a shock to no one that it had no effect on the number of people who smoke.

ramrants on June 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Just ban the things and be done with it. Or collect all the tax dollars and quit demonizing it. Don’t demonize and collect the taxes. The government (state and federal) probably makes more on a pack than the tobacco companies.

MTinMN on June 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

They do this in Canada and it will probably come as a shock to no one that it had no effect on the number of people who smoke.

ramrants on June 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

So once again the US is mimicking the liberty-robbing, cost-increasing regulatory policies of a more progressive country without regard to their effectiveness.

Gotta love Congress’ delegation of its Constitutional authority to our bureaucratic overlords.

rwenger43 on June 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

The fact of the matter is, people are going to do what people are going to do. I smoked for 16 years, quitting in 1988. When I started there were warning labels on packages but I chose to smoke anyway ignoring the warnings. I just did not believe it could happen to me.
People are going to believe or not what they want to believe or not. Even Jesus said that the people had the law and the prophets and chose not to believe them, so they would not believe one who came back from the dead. I dont think there should be no warnings in packs, but there comes a time when too much is enough.
It seems to me the anti-smoking people are flogging a dead horse. Just my 2 cents.

abcurtis on June 22, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I’m an addict. I wish I had not started. The pictures won’t make me quit.

lexhamfox on June 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Ditto. I think it may stop a lot of young people from starting in the first place.

fastestslug on June 22, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The cigarette companies need to start a counter-campaign using pictures of Hitler and various people from the Obama administration with captions like “The Nazi’s also forced people to stop smoking”, “Question: what do Hitler and the FDA have in common? Answer: neither would allow you the freedom to smoke”, “Once they’ve taken away your freedom to smoke, what will they take away next?”, “If the government gets to decide what you are allowed to put in your mouth, what else will they make you do with it?”, etc.

babylonandon on June 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Splashman on June 21, 2011 at 8:00 PM

The only thing that bothers me about smokers is the children involved; that is obviously infringing on their right to breathe, but I could care less if anyone else smokes as long as it isn’t around me, with the exception that it is someone I might date–in that case I wouldn’t even consider it.

RDE2010 on June 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Here we go, kiddies: ObamaCare Warning Labels

petefrt on June 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM

babylonandon on June 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Yes, requiring a company to speak/act against its own legal commercial interests is wrong in an Orwellian sort of way.

petefrt on June 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

JayTee on June 22, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Yes, well you know in the olden days, anyone who was anyone had an attractive metal cigarette case.

Rauchen Verboten.

orbitalair on June 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Every smoker that I know wants to quit.

ss396 on June 21, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Anecdotal, but encouraging.

Just ban the things and be done with it.

MTinMN on June 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Amen.

ElectricPhase on June 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Will they put pictures of Democrats and the results of Democrat policies at the voting booth, too? Maybe homeless camps, job lines, pictures of food stamps, hobos, etc.?

crosspatch on June 22, 2011 at 1:06 PM

The only thing that bothers me about smokers is the children involved rental cars; that is obviously infringing on their my right to breathe with the air conditioner on, but I could care less if anyone else smokes as long as it isn’t around me inside a car, with the exception of the ex-boyfriend I dated which was a true jerk that it is someone I might date–in that case I wouldn’t even consider it.

RDE2010 on June 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

IMHO

ProudPalinFan on June 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM

If ugly pictures will turn people off, then there is no chance any democrat will ever be elected again.

Wade on June 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Just ban the things and be done with it.

MTinMN on June 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Amen.

ElectricPhase on June 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

First can we possibly ban self-righteous self-absorbed douche-nozzles who believe they should get to make choices for people because people make the wrong choices?

You know, the people who think freedom is good right up until they find something they want changed; then they want the government to step in and force everyone to do things their way?

You know… people like you two.

gekkobear on June 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

You know, the people who think freedom is good right up until they find something they want changed; then they want the government to step in and force everyone to do things their way?

gekkobear on June 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Freedom is is history.

Wade on June 22, 2011 at 2:35 PM

The Constitution isn’t going to be much help here. The government has been requiring warning messages on cigarettes for decades. The only difference here is the size and content of the message; there is no difference in principle. The best way to change this policy is through massive public outcry. I don’t smoke and I don’t have much sympathy, in general, for smokers, but I have been saying for years that the government should not be forcing propaganda on private companies or citizens. Mostly people have been ignoring me and others that have said the same things. My guess is that the regulators have finally pushed their luck a bit too far this time. We shall see.

JackOfClubs on June 22, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Is there any question that the Federal Death Administration must be put on the chopping block, too? They just made it easy to pick them for the chop. This is gone too far on violating first amendment rights.

And if a person wants to be stupid and smoke, let them. It’s their life they are destroying. Let them acquire insurance at a higher price from private insurers as it is now. Do NOT try to force people to be good little boys and girls. We’re adults, damnit.

{+_+} And I am 100% non-smoker all my life.

herself on June 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Meh – the FDA will just make old-fashioned cigarette cases popular again.

disa on June 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

The government doesn’t really want people to quit smoking–there’s too much tax revenue. If everyone quit tomorrow, a number of states who depend on that revenue might find themselves in some real trouble.

zoyclem on June 22, 2011 at 4:33 PM

They like us for ‘sin’ taxes and on top of that, they’re going to charge us for the nasty images of what smoking does — to do what? get us to quit? Then where’s the sin tax? Whaddya do — tax beer at 100% ?

TAX STUFF THE NANNY STATE WANTS like Michele Obama – arugula, Tuscan Kale, fresh plums — tax that stuff.

Tax the stuff that us minority sinners don’t care about and you majority non-sinners care about. Tax people with baby-buggies — they’re totally annoying. Tax people who talk loud on their cell phones. Make cell phone manufacturers put a govt decibel level indicator on each phone.

Tax the president every time he uses Air Force One to go to a fundraising event — same for First Lady. Make them or their party reimburse the American people for partisan use of public funds — includes their drinks and food and smokes.

Tax the Saints — because they’re the one who are taking ‘our’ money and deciding how to give it out. Let them take their own money.

pbabb on June 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

That photo is a good argument for responsible dental care. OH WAIT – wouldn’t that be “blaming the victim”?

disa on June 22, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I read somewhere today that the photos were staged and photoshopped.

Dhuka on June 22, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I love the twisted knot the big-government types are twisting themselves into:

BUY CIGARETTES! Your purchase provides essential-tax funds that provides health care to poor women and children and funds crucial stop-smoking programs.

DON”T BUY CIGARETTES! Your purchase will make you sick and you will surely die a slow and horrible death.

What I demand is that the other side of the pack of cigarettes depicts a vampire-politician feeding off of a pig or maybe a sheep.

shorebird on June 23, 2011 at 2:06 AM

Would you PLEASE drop this article? I’m sick of looking at it.

leftnomore on June 23, 2011 at 4:53 AM

Yeah, just let pro-lifers use some graphics to depict the truth about abortion and watch people yell extremism.

JellyToast on June 21, 2011 at 9:39 PM

THIS.

Badger40 on June 24, 2011 at 7:48 AM

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