Graphic warnings to appear on cigarette packs - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Graphic warnings to appear on cigarette packs

One of the graphics slated to appear on cigarette boxes One of the graphics slated to appear on cigarette boxes
Trisha Nakamura Trisha Nakamura
Drew Ferrell Drew Ferrell
Kristi Gilding Kristi Gilding
Jolyn Tenn Jolyn Tenn

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The photographs of rotting teeth and gums, diseased lungs, and smoke seeping from the throat of a man with a tracheotomy are part of a nine-picture package just released by the Food and Drug Administration.

Beginning in September 2012, the graphic warnings will be prominently placed on the front and back of all cigarette packages sold in the U.S.

Anti-smoking advocates call it a big step ahead of the written advice presently on packs that warn of the dangers of smoking.

"The pictorial images are really going to be powerful and really evoke strong emotion and get people to consider, should I quit and call 1-800-QUITNOW? Should I not smoke?" said Trisha Nakamura, policy director for the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii.

The feds will require cigarette manufacturers to include the photos on the top half of cigarette packs and in advertisements for cigarette products.

"I don't think it's over the top. I think it's appropriate. I think it's pretty graphic and it's pretty true," longtime smoker Drew Ferrell said.

"It's very graphic. It would make me not want to smoke at all, not even touch the box of cigarettes," non-smoker Kristi Gilding said.

In Hawaii, 14% of adults smoke and one in ten teenagers do.

The FDA estimates the new warning labels will prompt over 200,000 smokers nationwide to kick the habit.

But Jolyn Tenn of the Hawaii Smokers Alliance thinks the campaign will fizzle out fast.

"There is an impact," she said. "But within a year to three years, absolutely no impact whatsoever. People become de-sensitized."

The new warning labels make up the biggest change to U.S. cigarette packs in 25 years.

When the new warnings take effect, pro and anti-smoking supporters will be watching closely to see what happens once all the smoke clears.

Click here to view a gallery of FDA's graphics.


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