In accord the Tobacco Control Act, the FDA has proposed new graphic warning labels for cigarette packaging. Will they be effective?
The Tobacco Control act (also known as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) requires that "larger, more visible" warning labels adorn all cigarette packs as of June 22, 2011. The FDA has proposed that the warnings should "consist of nine new textual warning statements accompanied by color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking," taking up at least 50 percent of the packaging space on which they appear.
Three of the proposed images are shown above. You can seen the complete collection at the FDA website or in this pdf.
There aren't many industries that are subjected to this level of branding scrutiny—the paper sheets that conceal the covers of adult magazines in convenient stores comes to mind.
Other countries have used similarly large labels for years. In Ottawa, Canada, a debate is currently underway about the need to re-design their graphic warnings, which have not changed in 10 years. Using the same labels, critics say, reduces the impact as the images become "like wallpaper." What I want to know is whether the last 10 years have seen a significant in Canadian smoking.
What do you think: Are these labels effective?