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New cigarette images are unprecedentedly graphic


New cigarette images are unprecedentedly graphic

nickj June 22, 2011

There was a time when cigarette boxes only carried a small label issued by the Surgeon General about their health consequences, but those days have long passed to much more graphic images, whether it's a man with a smoking hole in his throat or a woman smoking with a baby in her arms.

As of Fall 2012, these will be the norm in the U.S., where cigarette companies will have to rotate nine different images on their boxes. They will be advertised in magazines as well, and carry information about how to stop smoking.

The pictures may be more than a year away from being implemented, but smokers are already feeling their impact.

"They look so bad," 21-year-old Ashley Johnson told The Argus Leader. "I think that when people see these pictures, they might put the cigarettes back and get something else instead."

Some consumers have argued that the depictions are too gruesome for children to see, but the FDA stands firm in proliferating the images, saying that their goal is to make sure that children don't think smoking is cool. For their part, tobacco companies have tried to protest the images by stating that they cross lines of social acceptability, the news source reports.

The FDA believes that the images could cut the number of smokers by 213,000 in just a year, CBS reports.

The Oral Cancer Foundation states that four million people die each year because of smoking, with 47 percent of men and 12 percent of women smoking up to six trillion cigarettes each year. In the United States, 490,000 Americans die each year from smoking. Tobacco is a factor in 25 diseases and is responsible for about one in five deaths across the country.