Cigarette Packs, Ads, to Come with More Graphic Warnings

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Smokers going to buy a pack of cigarettes will soon be greeted with a warning label containing graphic images of dead bodies, blackened organs and women crying. As of 2011, the Food and Drug Administration will require cigarette packs and ads to show more detailed images of the consequences of smoking, and 36 images (pdf) (some of them fairly graphic) have been approved. But how effective will this approach be in preventing smokers from lighting up? 

We talk with Cindy Gallop, advertising consultant, along with Takeaway news editor Javier Guzman, who talks with us about his experience as a smoker of 15 years and whether he believes he would be deterred from buying a pack of cigarettes because of these images.


Cindy Gallop and Javier Guzman

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [8]

Rick Oshana from boston


i quit in 1971 by using an image of a real old bag lady with a cigarette dangling down from her mouth. it was a total mental turn-off.

plus the thought of those creeps in VA making untold fortunes of me and others by keeping us addicted. the addiction is so strong that it is truly frightening.

good luck.


Feb. 27 2011 10:39 AM
Jeremy King

Tobacco use is attributed with over 400,000 American deaths and over 200 billion dollars in health care and lost productivity costs each year. Terrorists could only wish to cause this kind of damage, both in terms of lives and money lost to the economy. But guess where the money is coming from? Yes, the US taxpayer pays the bill both in terms of health care and productivity (costs to the public). And what of the deaths? Go to (choose "T" at the top of the page; choose "Tobacco Use, Smoking and"; on the left choose "data and statistics" then "tables, charts, and graphs"; "Frequency Distribution...") and take a look at who is smoking at disproportionate rates in terms of socioeconomic status. Now, Google "Phillip Morris USA"; choose market information; scroll down to the bottom of the page and choose investor overview; take a look at the fourth quarter and full year press release for the year of 2009. If you have any questions about who is paying for and who is profiting from the sale and use of tobacco in this country just let me know. While your on the web, take a look at Altria Group's (Phillip Morris is their's) stock price. It would be more than interesting to see the socioeconomic profile of the average Altria Group Stockholder to make my point black and white.

Nov. 23 2010 08:39 PM
stevebpower from Worcester MA

The best ad against smoking cigarettes was a teenaged Brooke Sheilds turning over on a bed in tight jeans saying how cigarettes turned her off from a young man she was at first attracted to.
There were congressional hearings about this ad because some suppossedly complained about its implied sexuality.
The real reason was probably that the ad worked.
It was eventually cancelled.

Nov. 16 2010 08:50 PM

Come On!
Graphic Images? Warning Messages?
Have you been to a teen oriented movie lately?
I don't think graphic images are going to shaock anyone.
Have you seen the commercialst & read the news stories about texting and driving?
Yet, a high percentage of teens, still text and drive.
The Federal & State Governments still subsidize tobacoo farmers and manufacturers.
Another, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, just obey the great OZ"

Nov. 11 2010 11:50 AM
Avid from Western KY

I don't think the cigarette ads will be effective, but IF the government really wants to help people's health, they should be attacking diets and especially high-fat commercial restaurants, because while only some people smoke, ALL people eat, most of us eat out, and obesity is the greatest threat to our health at this time.

Nov. 11 2010 09:44 AM
Patty Fong from Seattle

What a disappointing piece on smoking this morning. Superficial, flip and utterly clueless. I have a long-time smoker in my family. Why don't you feature someone who has a family member instead of an ad consultant? Smoking is a drug /addiction problem. Even medical providers sometimes fail to acknowledge this. There's no difference between a heroin addict and a nicotine addict! That said, your terrible "journalism" is the reason I am lobbying my community radio station to "take this away" - The Takeaway. I can't believe the Gates Foundation supports this "journalism". It made me sick to hear you tease Javier Guzman. He is an addict. You just don't understand. "Take it away".

Nov. 11 2010 09:34 AM

Smoking is bad for our lungs. Talk about city air and its effects on lungs - particularly childrens' lungs.

Nov. 11 2010 07:36 AM
Eric Somers from Poughkeepsie, NY

Let's be sensible. Does anyone not know that smoking is dangerous? I don't smoke but I occasionally drink martinis and used to drive sports cars fast. Should sports cars come with pictures of bad wrecks or martini glasses with pictures of alcoholic homeless men?

And why does the U.S. gov't (at least through 2009) actually subsidize farmers who grow tobacco?

Nov. 11 2010 03:57 AM

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