Will graphic FDA cigarette labels deter smokers?

This week, the U.S Food and Drug Administration released nine warning labels with graphic images. Will these graphic labels deter Americans from smoking?
Written by Stacy Lipson, Contributor

Alfredo Diaz is a heavy smoker. On the way to his next job, the 32-year-old construction worker from Queens explained to SmartPlanet how smoking has played a role in his life.

"I've smoked for many years," said Diaz. "I tried to quit, but I find I need to go back."

He pulls out a pack of Marlboro Red shorts. "This is bad," said Diaz.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes. This week, the U.S Food and Drug Administration released nine warning labels with graphic images.

Crain's New York Business reported:

The FDA says the new labels will "clearly and effectively convey the health risks of smoking" aimed at encouraging current smokers to quit and discourage nonsmokers and youths from starting to use cigarettes.

"These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Caitlyn Conefry is a 22-year-old from Long Island. In an interview with SmartPlanet, she expressed her view as a non-smoker.

"I think most people are already aware that smoking is dangerous," said Conefry. "But maybe the pictures will create extra incentive for some people to stay away from smoking, or quit if they already smoke."

According to FDA estimates, the graphic labels will cut the number of smokers by 213,000, with more reductions through 2031.

Examples of the graphic labels include images such as rotting teeth, the corpse of a smoker, and a diseased lung. The FDA says that starting in September 2012, the new labels will fill the top half of front and back packs of each package.

Tell us: Do you think these graphic cigarette labels will deter smokers? If you're a smoker, would these images play a role in helping you quit? If you're a non-smoker, do you think these images would encourage you to refrain from smoking? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: via the FDA

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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