Should FDA Compel The Cigarette Companies To Print Graphic Warning On Cigarette Boxes? Essays Examples
Smoking has for the longest time been one of the major causes of death that is preventable. According to a report presented by the Centre for Disease Control in the year 2004, cigarette smoking causes 443,000 deaths every year. Because of this outrageous figure and also because of so many other troubles that could be tied to tobacco smoking, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to take a step to prevent people from smoking or to give them reasonable warning of what their action may cost them in the future. The printing of graphic images on the cigarette packets was one of those strategies which gave very vivid reminder to people of all the health hazards that could result from cigarette smoking. The strategy has been in play for quite some time and its effectiveness under debate for just as long. The tobacco companies protest against this obligation and try every possible way to rid themselves of the need to print these graphic signs on the cigarette packets. The question is; should this rule continue or should we take steps to put an end to this requirement?
These warning labels have been around for 25 years and in the opinion of the American Cancer Society, are no longer effective. Fortunately, not many stand beside this assertion and believe the trick to being quite effective. The tobacco-free-kids campaign made known their opinion according to which, the tobacco companies are fighting these warning labels because they are proving effective, which quite honestly seems like a very reasonable claim to make. The president of the campaign, Mathew L Meyers says; “The graphic warnings would counter the industry's deception and tell the truth about how deadly and unglamorous smoking truly is,” . These warning labels are, therefore, an effective strategy and should remain a liability of the tobacco companies.
These warning labels were enforced with a few purposes in mind. The first was to make the smokers aware of the hazards that link to smoking and also to encourage them to quit smoking. This is the reason why along with the warning label, the cigarette packets also contain the number of the hotline that helps smokers quit their habit. The recent statistics identify that there are about 43.8 million smokers in the United States and if they do not quite smoking, half these smokers will die prematurely of causes that are avoidable. The second purpose that these warning labels serve is to warn those who decide to start smoking. These warnings do carry effect because every time that the smoker looks at the cigarette pack in need of smoke, that person is exposed to all the warning that the FDA wishes to convey. This means that every smoke is a choice for them between the risk of dying and overcoming the habit. Also, people who are in habit of smoking a pack a day are presented with the warning more than 7000 times in a single year and being aware of the health risks of smoking is the first step towards the efforts of a person to quit smoking.
Mathew Myers gave a statement which we went through earlier and according to this statement, these warning labels help counter the effects of advertising that tobacco companies might carry out. This means that these labels successfully lessen the allure that people may have towards smoking because of all the advertising that these companies engage in. These images remind the people that the product is not as attractive as the cigarette companies may make them out to be. Another reason that supports the effort made towards keeping these warning labels on the cigarette packs is that the general public appreciates and supports their presence. A survey carried through during 2009 presented evidence that 80 percent of the non-smokers and 58 percent of the smokers in the New York City support the use of graphic warning labels on the cigarette pack. Evidence has shown that the support for these labels has been picking up the pace and seen a significant increase over time.
Research carried out on the effectiveness of these labels suggests that these warnings are more effective amongst the youth than for any other age group, not just in the Unites States but also in several other countries. More than 90 percent of the Canadian Youth agree that these labels provided them with important information on the negative consequences of smoking and made the habit less attractive for them. Similarly, the studies in Australia gave evidence that the adolescents who discussed these warning labels were less likely to try smoking and those who had fallen into the habit were more likely to quit. Being able to lessen the habit and practice of smoking in the young ones is in the opinion of many people a huge success and a good enough reason to support these warning that decorate every cigarette pack.
Through the discussion, people might wonder why these warning labels have to be so prominent and take up most of the cigarette cover when a small few-sentenced warning could serve the same purpose. The state has faced many dollars in litigation because of being sued for enforcing the use of these prominent warning labels by four of the major tobacco companies. These companies claim that these large warning labels leave no significant space to distinguish the brands from one another and the meeting of FDA regulations requires huge costs to be borne by these companies. These requirements even despite so much resistance against the effort still remain enforceable and there is a reason why. A study finds that these labels help people quit smoking and the size of the label also has a noteworthy part to play in convincing the people as such. These labels are effective even for those smokers who normally tend to avoid warning labels.
All in all, the evidence points towards significant success against the practice of smoking. Not only do these labels deter the young ones to try smoking, they also give compelling reasons to non-smokers so that they can make efforts towards abandoning the habit. Many people would agree that all these benefits are worth the costs that these companies incur in printing of these labels. The campaign has seen much success so far especially with the youth and it would be smart to stick to the practice for the well-being of many.
Almasy, S. (2013, March 20). FDA changes course on graphic warning labels on cigarettes. Retrieved from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/19/health/fda-graphic-tobacco-warnings/
Collins, J. (2011, August 16). Cigarette Warning Labels: Tobacco Companies Sue Federal Government Over Graphic Warnings. Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/cigarette-warning-labels-sue-government_n_928900.html
Kids, C. f.-f. (2013, March 19). Tobacco Warning Labels: Evidence of Effectiveness. Retrieved from Tobacco-free kids: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0325.pdf
Preidt, R. (2014, July 10). Graphic Cigarette-Label Warnings Work, Study Finds. Retrieved from Health Day: http://consumer.healthday.com/mental-health-information-25/psychology-and-mental-health-news-566/graphic-cigarette-label-warnings-work-study-finds-689684.html