Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Would Help You Quit Smoking?

This week the FDA announced that it would require cigarette manufacturers to display graphic photos of the dark side of smoking tobacco on the top half of all packages. 

Now if this:

and this:

aren't grotesque enough, could this possibly have more impact?:

“These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking, and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human service in a statement at the time of the release of the new policy. Really?

The FDA claims to have done its research and come up with these "scientifically" proven methods of discouraging use.  But the problem I see with kids and teens smoking is that many of them never see the pack.   According to Marketplace, a public radio sponsored website, a pack of cigarettes in New York now costs over $10.   That's around the hourly rate for suburban teenage babysitters.  So you can imagine that it is unlikely that most smoking kids actually buy a pack.  What they do is share and sometimes buy one cigarette at a time from a friend or supplier. 

So what could the FDA have imagined as a more likely way to reach smoking youth?  They could require manufacturers to actually write on each cigarette paper itself.  "Do you really need this cigarette?"  "Could you think of another way to spend a dollar?"  Or how about a sort of measuring tape printed (in organic harmless ink, of course) that might say: "Stop now and kill this butt."

I'm open to suggestions but the point is that each and every stick needs to be a warning or reminder or encouragement to stop.   Data shows that over 85% of teens who smoke wish they could quit.  With all of the research, I wonder how many FDA scientists were hanging around the designated spot at the local high school where kids smoke with impunity and adults seem to turn a blind eye.

Maybe we should ask the kids how to help them quit.     If you know a smoker, try asking him or her.  I am not sure the FDA did that.


  1. I hope parents are reading this article. Not many teenagers are aware of the dangers of smoking. Most of them think its cool. But according to my dentist Concord, not only does smoking cause halitosis it can also cause teeth decay.

  2. I hope the cigarette labels that shows the severe effects of smoking would make smokers stop it. It doesn't only gives them bad breath but it also stains their teeth.

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  3. Smoking not only affect our teeth, mouth, and breath. It affects your overall health. You may develop a wide range of diseases. If you want a healthy body, quit smoking.

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  4. I have to agree, if you want a healthier lifestyle, quit smoking. If you want a whiter teeth and a good breath but you're a smoker, you can never achieve that.

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  5. I don't think if these ads will still work. What we need is a solid law that will ban smoking. It may kill some businesses but it will definitely save a lot of lives. Choose.

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  6. Two of these exact images have been on cigarette packs in my country for years, and the number of smoker didn't go down at all. You know what had numbers dwindling? The price and the economic crisis.

  7. Everything gets scary when you smoke too much. There are a lot of things that gets affected not only our respiratory system but as well as the oral hygiene.