U.S. Releases Graphic Images to Deter Smokers
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.
In the first major change to warning labels in more than a quarter-century, the graphic images will include photographs of horribly damaged teeth and lungs and a man exhaling smoke through a tracheotomy opening in his neck. The Department of Health and Human Services selected nine color images among 36 proposed to accompany larger text warnings.
Health advocacy groups have praised the government plan in the hope that images would shock and deter new smokers and scare existing smokers into quitting.
The images are to cover the upper half of the front and back of cigarette packages produced after September 2012, as well as 20 percent of cigarette advertisements.
“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,” Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said in a statement Tuesday.