New FDA labels could deter smokers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New FDA labels could deter smokers

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Beginning in September of next year, the FDA will require every pack of cigarettes to have large anti-smoking graphics. These warnings mark the first major change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years.

These days it's hard to find someone who does not know the dangers of smoking. But because of the addictive nature of the drug, some folks say it is impossible to quit.

To help deter potential new smokers, and maybe some current smokers, the FDA is taking a more radical approach. Adding graphic images on the dangers of smoking to every pack. "To identify the risk associated with cigarette smoking could deter the future generations and the present generation," said RN Teyana Taylor.

I spoke to one smoker of 30 years who said he doesn't think he can ever quit, but hopes these new ads will work for young people. "The best way to stop smoking is to prevent it from starting. I mean it is an addictive drug," said Dr. John Gilbert.

Dr. Gilbert primarily deals with ear, nose, and throat patients and constantly sees the consequences of smoking. He says many people think the worst could never happen to them. "If people knew some of the long term sequellaire or complications of smoking and really what that means in terms of health and the destructive nature it can have to your ears, nose, and throat or your lungs than I hope it would have a detrimental effect."

Marketing Specialists say the labels and packaging on a product can have major influences on consumers. "Companies like Proctor and Gamble and some of those spend millions and millions and millions just researching packaging," said Strategic Decisions President Alvin Whight.

As of now every pack of cigarettes has a one line warning label saying things like smoking is addictive. Starting in September of next year each pack will be required to have an anti-smoking graphic taking up nearly half of the available space.

The smoker I spoke with told me if the new label prevents at least one person from smoking, then it's more than worth it. Every pack of cigarettes comes with a toll free number you can call for help quitting smoking.

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