I grew up around smokers. That may be one reason I never felt the desire to try it myself. The smell/taste of even secondhand smoke is horrible, why would I want it first hand?
Most of my relatives that smoked knew the health problems they were risking. That didn’t stop them, even those who got to see the results of decades of tobacco use. In fact, only two of them did quit, and it wasn’t really fear of death. It was the request of the family…we feared their death.
Now, the FDA wants to put graphic pictures on all cigarette packages, as a regular reminder of these problems. If seeing a person die by inches in front of you from cigarette smoke, is a picture on a package going to be a deterrent?
It might be for those who haven’t smoked very long. While the addiction happens fairly quickly, the habit may not be so ingrained. There is a chance it would stop a few from continuing on this deadly path.
As for those who’ve smoked a long time, there is a lot to overcome if there is a desire to quit. Desire isn’t always enough. It’s said that the addiction to smoking is as hard to break as an addiction to heroin. It will take far more than a picture on a box…that the smoker may or may not even look at…to stop.
There is an issue that the FDA may not have thought about when they made this ruling. Smokers are often parents. What will happen when a young child sees a corpse with a line of sutures up the middle of his chest? It could traumatize that child, and that’s not a good thing at all. This is even more true if that child has already been trying to get mom and/or dad to quit. Now the child can actually see the results.
So, what these pictures boil down to are the following:
a) Most long time smokers won’t even look at the pictures. b) A few smokers who have only just picked up the habit *might* stop. c) Young children could see something they’re not even allowed to see at the movies.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s what the FDA had in mind. Wouldn’t it be better to spend the money on improving a smoker’s ability to stop?
If you smoke and want to stop, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you choose which method of the several available that is right for you. It is a conversation your doctor is longing to have with you, and one that your family will be grateful you had.