WASHINGTON (CBS) – Starting in the fall of 2012, smokers reaching for a pack of cigarettes will get an in-your-face warning about what they’re doing to themselves and the people around them.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the federal government has unveiled nine new, graphic warning labels that will be put on packs of cigarettes.
One shows a smoker holding a lit cigarette and smoke coming out of a hole in his neck from a tracheotomy, with the warning, “Cigarettes Are Addictive.”
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya reports
Other images warn that cigarette smoke can harm children, cause fatal lung disease, cause cancer, cause strokes and heart disease, harm babies during pregnancy, cause fatal lung disease in nonsmokers, and simply “kill you.” The images on the labels include diseased lungs and mouths, a woman in tears, a deceased man with stitches running up the middle of his chest, and a Roy Lichtenstein-esque image of a crying premature baby.
The only optimistic image depicts a man wearing an “I Quit” T-shirt, and repeats a warning that has been placed on cigarette packs and ads by the U.S. Surgeon General for decades – “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.
“Ultimately, we hope that all of the graphic warning labels result in fewer kids starting to smoke, and more adults and current smokers wanting to quit,” said Erika Sward of the American Lung Association.
One smoker said the labels might have an impact for her.
“They might have an impact on me, you know, actually, maybe trying to follow through with my, ‘Oh, I’m going to quit next week,’ I might actually be like, ‘You know what? I’m going to try to actually make this my last pack,’” she said.
The labels will also include a phone number to get help to quit smoking – (800) QUIT-NOW.