The United States is going the Canada route in terms of putting the ill on packs of tobacco, although this was known for quite a while. The images have just been released, though, (http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/21/cigarette.labels.gallery/index.html?hpt=hp_c1) and let me be the first to say HYPOCRISY!
First of all, people who smoke already know the risks: lung cancer, birth defects, emphysema, yada yada. Why would adding images on packs change a smoker’s perspective? Smokers don’t stare at packs of cigarettes. They could also find these images in a medical journal or, ya know, the Internet. If a person smokes and doesn’t realize the potential health risks associated with smoking tobacco, then he or she is an idiot.
Second, this seems more like a branding initiative by the FDA and our wholesome government rather than a warning shot fired at the smoking population. Cigarettes are already being taxed more and more, and now they want everyone to quit all the sudden? Many states also have the smoking bans indoors (as well as some bans which completely bar some to smoke in their own apartments and the like). Is this about Obama-Care and not “wasting” free health care for those who smoke and harm themselves? Or is the government just trying to act like a bunch of hard asses and teach those darn smokers a lesson?
Last but not least, why target cigarette smokers? Why aren’t there labels of car accidents on beer bottles, or on boxes of McDonald’s “all white meat” chicken, or on bottles of painkillers? Will the FDA start putting labels on pork in grocery stores, with a bleeding heart to symbolize possible heart disease stemming from a nice, juicy steak?
The argument I keep hearing is that eating a Big Mac doesn’t harm anyone else — true. But what about when it comes to health care and the Obama initiative to provide health care to all who need it? If you smoke and get lung cancer, some believe the people did it to themselves and do not deserve to be afforded such a service in such an instance. But what about those who are alcoholics or eat fast food daily, do they deserve that same type of care? Is being morbidly obese really that much of a difference than indulging in a cigarette? I would think not.
This whole initiative just doesn’t make sense to me. People who smoke know the risks they are upholding. If you don’t know the risks, then you are an idiot. But cigarettes aren’t the only culprit of disease and death in this nation; actually, the truth is far from it. The people who are disgustingly obese became fat for a reason, and it was probably fast food and a few two liters of their favorite soda. The funny thing about those who complain about cigarette use is that, uh, IT’S LEGAL! The government just keeps taxing cigarettes up the ass to to try to drown out the smoking population, but that worked really well with prohibition and the “drug war” [rolls eyes].
People will always have something new to bitch about, it’s the way of the world. People don’t appreciate many things and believe their personal liberties are more integral to themselves than others. These big-time tobacco companies are just getting railed by the government but can’t really say anything; their strings are already tied too tight. It’s one big sham after another.
The government just wants to prove its mettle once more, but it’s not proving anything to me.