The FDA has released its new cigarette warning images, to be displayed on packs as well as advertisements.
I can only say, it's about time. I've been calling for this for two decades, even in my 1998 article, "Tobacco: The Worst Crime in World History?"
And actually, the images are not that bad. Some are even cartoons!
My favorite is probably this one to the left.
Or perhaps this one to the right.
Actually what I'd most like to see is a picture of a flaccid penis since erectile dysfunction is also caused by smoking. It also happens way faster than other pesky things like cancer, heart disease and death.
Plus, young people would actually take notice since they do in fact tend to care about sex and being able to perform.
Students always say to me, "You have to die from something." And I like to reply, yeah but you do want to be able to get it up while you are alive, right?
Erectile dysfunction can occur in men after only ten years of smoking. Which is not only inconvenient and totally NOT sexy, but also is a warning sign for more serious health problems in the future (sorry fellas, the capillaries down there are much smaller than the arteries leading to your heart, so they get clogged up first).
In this Washington Post article, the news media discuss the issue. It points out this: "At least 30 other countries already require graphic warnings, including some, like Brazil, that go even further than the U.S. messages. Canada, which became the first country to require more graphic warnings in 2000, has seen a significant drop in smoking."
Nice to know we are only about 31st in the world to do this. Too bad we were not the first.
But hopefully we'll see smoking continue to decline anyway.