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Warning: Labels That Go Too Far

Apparently, believing that along with a host of other dangers, smoking causes illiteracy, the FDA has switched to visual aids, in the form of eye-popping and grisly graphics.

Are you kidding me?

Did you happen to get a load of the new “warning labels” that our government has deemed appropriate to place on cigarette packages and tobacco advertisements? It’s like making your point with a howitzer. 

Not satisfied to simply tax smokers out of existence, the feds have enlisted the help of the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to overhaul the long-standing print warning labels which, have had little effect on curbing the smoking habit.

Apparently, believing that along with a host of other dangers, smoking causes illiteracy, the FDA has switched to visual aids, in the form of eye-popping and grisly graphics.

Seen any good autopsy photos lately? If not, you’re in luck. One of the ads features a deceased gentleman lying on a slab, with tell-tale autopsy stitches prominently displayed along his torso. The label bears the advice that “Smoking can kill you:” Well, autopsies will do a number on you, too.

Ever wonder what, exactly, a diseased lung looks like? Well, wonder no longer. “Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease,” the ad reminds us, accompanied by a “before and after” view of said lungs. Charming.

The other seven warning labels are equally gross and/or offensive.

While I don’t condone smoking, I certainly don’t condone this latest gambit from the anti-smoking crowd. Couldn’t they just settle on putting a skull and crossbones on the packaging?

In theory, these macabre images are supposed to be a “wake-up” call for smokers and a deterrent to those who may be tempted to take up the habit. It’s been done in other countries, we’ve been told.

What we haven’t been told, however, is that smokers in those other countries have already found a way around it. Simply placing a non-offensive sleeve over the original packaging pretty much eliminates the shock value.

So what next, given that this latest campaign may be doomed to failure? Perhaps we might go that one step further in our efforts to force good health and happiness on our smoking populace.

How about some of these extreme, but possibly effective, suggestions?

1. Exploding cigarette packs

Should the smoker ignore the warning label and actually open the pack, a cloud of blue dye would engulf their person. This has the added benefit of opening the doors for future anti-blue dye campaigns.

2. Audio-alarms

With modern technology, couldn’t we just slip a little audio reminder into each cigarette? A heat-activated sensor would trigger the message as soon as the smoker attempts to light up. “You don’t really want to do that, do you Steve?” our friendly warning system might offer. “Think of the consequences.”

3. Warning labels on Smokers

Forget the cigarette packs. Let’s force smokers to register and wear government-issue patches, identifying them as “Puffers.” We won’t tell them that these are actually “nicotine” patches designed to help "cure" them, ha, ha.

4. Charge a tax

Add a “pollution” tax to the price of cigarettes. This will discourage smoking and probably stop global-warming, which, as we all know, is caused by smokers.

5. Use disgusting images to heavy-handedly make the point that smoking is harmful

Oh, right, that’s already being done. Never mind.

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