You knew once the FDA got involved in regulating tobacco products some interesting things were going to happen. I read a lot about what’s going on in the tobacco category since I work on a tobacco account, but the recent announcement about the new FDA warning labels makes me shake my head. Speaking as a non-smoker and one who has no problem with baring smoking in public places, I see this move as a government overstep. Since tobacco is a legal product like alcohol (which I do touch occasionally), why is the traditional SGW on each pack not enough?

Yes, the labels are truly gruesome and impactful with some showing a cadaver, damaged lungs and smoke coming out of a tracheotomy hole, but will they actually truly shock smokers enough to quit? The FDA predicts that the new labels will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 within the first year. I would think that of the 40+million smokers in the US, 39.99 million already know that smoking is harmful to your health since this isn’t the 1950’s and it’s no longer a secret. Will the warnings convince non-smokers and youth to not start? Maybe, yet it is often not a logical choice but peer pressure, high stress and other emotions that cause some to start lighting up.

I think the bigger issue is when are people going to be held accountable for their personal choices? If you know that smoking could be harmful and yet still choose to smoke a pack+ a day, should you have the right to blame tobacco companies? If you’re obese because you “biggie size” your lunch everyday, is it really the fast food restaurant’s fault? Do we really need the US government telling us what to do and how to think?

I know that I don’t.

Regardless if you’re a smoker or not, you need to be prepared to be hit with these ghastly warning labels when you purchase your soda and chips at your local store register, because their coming to a C-store near you in the Fall of 2012.

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