Monday, March 5, 2012

Cigarette Warnings - New and Improved!

I finally got to see some of the new and improved warnings on cigarette packages. The very first thing I said when faced with a pack showing a giant photo of a tongue covered in ulcers and polyps from Oral Cancer was 'That's disgusting'. The very next thing I said was 'the makers of cigarette cases are going to be back in business'.

Sorry for the rather fuzzy pic but I just have a cheap pre-paid phone lol. Anyway - the photo on the left is the pack my boyfriend bought on Saturday. The photo on the right is the pack I picked up for him today. I had heard several months ago that the warning labels were going to be made considerably larger - and now I have them in my hands (my pack's warning label was just as big but it was a rather boring one. I thought the tongue cancer photo would be more striking).

So let's think about this for a minute. The warning labels were made larger in an attempt to draw more attention because apparently the past smaller labels of diseased lungs, pregnant women smoking, premature infants, and children monkey-see-monkey-do smoking were not working. People are still smoking. Well dang! Let's try making them bigger instead, because several years of smaller labels did not have the intended effect. Maybe this big disgusting lumpy tongue will work!

Guess what I did? I took the inner sleeve out of the oral cancer pack and slid it into the pack on the left, took a photo of the pair, and then threw the tongue one in the garbage. And I am smoking a cigarette while I write this. Am I stupid? Probably. If you are an ex-smoker or a non-smoker you probably think I am headed for the looney bin (or perhaps a future model for a series of photos on warning labels). But my point is - the makers have been mandated by law to put larger labels onto their products because the SMALLER LABELS DID NOT WORK. Smaller meaning 50% coverage of the package label. Not exactly 'small'.

Meanwhile, down in the United States, they are starting up the same thing apparently. Read a Feb 24th 2012 report on the FDA website HERE. The report says it will be the first change in ciggy warnings in 25 years. So I have already been telling my US friends that we are wayyyyyyyyyy ahead of the game and have been doing it for years already and are now moving on to even larger warning labels. You can view the new labels on that link, 9 of them, and see they are very similar to ones Canada has already been using for years. Canada was in fact the FIRST country to adopt this program, back in 2000. We are over a decade ahead of the US on this issue and have moved to larger warnings already. Should the US not just skip the smaller labels and head straight to the big labels? Geez isn't anyone watching what's going on up here?? We are like the pilot project! Anyhow, I just thought that was an interesting side bit. Spend a kazillion dollars writing up paperwork in the US to force companies to print smaller labels that obviously DO NOT WORK as well as planned in the country right next door - and then in a decade or so, they can spend a kazillion more writing up paperwork to force companies to adopt the larger labels. Hmmm I wonder what we will be on by then? What could the next warning be? All cigarettes sold in black packages with lung xrays or skulls and crossbones poison warning labels covering everything? I should take some bets and check back in a decade to see who wins the big prize (a vintage pack of smokes with EXTRA STRONG Filterless on the label and no warning label).

So then I am back to my second reaction to seeing the gross tongue photo - a comeback of the cigarette case. People used to use those a lot when I was younger - like when my best friend's parents used to sit at the table after supper and get out their Home Rollies machine, their can of tobacco, and their papers and make their own ciggies and put them in a case to slide into purse and pocket. Old movies used to show a glamorous woman opening a shiny black case and taking out her 100 mild's with long tips and have 10 men show up with lighters or matches to charm her. Those cases are going to be selling like hotcakes. Dammit I missed a venture into a good home business! Maybe I can drag out my crafting supplies and make some really cute funky cases and sell them for $5 a pop - I can see some serious cash coming for them at least, can't you? Who the hell wants to walk around with a pack of smokes showing a diseased green tongue???? But if they want to smoke, they will - they will just cover it up like I did. Took me all of 10 seconds to put the new pack inside the old pack. Ta-Da! All done!

Now let's go shopping - I rather like these:
Okay, you get the idea.

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