Area residents skeptical of FDA's new cigarette labels

Photo credit: FDA
Photo credit: FDA
The new warnings will appear on all cigarette packs by the fall of 2012. (Photo from: FDA)
The new warnings will appear on all cigarette packs by the fall of 2012. (Photo from: FDA)
The FDA hopes the new warnings will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 by 2013. (Photo credit: FDA)
The FDA hopes the new warnings will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 by 2013. (Photo credit: FDA)

Local residents are skeptical about the FDA's new cigarette warning labels.

Most people said while the graphic warnings will help convince a few Americans to go cold turkey, it would not have an impact on most smokers.

"I think it might deter a few but they'll continue smoking," said lake area resident Barbara LaBaube.

"It really wouldn't matter to a smoker what pics they would use," said Kandy Benoit. "They would smoke anyway."

The FDA is requiring nine warning images to be placed on all cigarette packs by the fall of 2012. One image shows a smoker's rotten teeth. Another shows a pair of diseased lungs. The seven other images are just as direct in their message: smoking kills.

The images will replace the current surgeon general's warning, which the FDA does not believe goes far enough in curbing tobacco use.

"This bold measure will help prevent children from smoking, encourage adults who do to quit, and ensure every American understands the dangers of smoking," said an FDA spokesman.

The images mark the first major changes to cigarette labels in 25 years.

"People started to ignore the earlier warnings," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

The FDA hopes to reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 before the year 2013.

"These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

It's estimated that each year 443,000 people die in the U.S. because of smoking.

"If it stops one person, it would be worth it" added LaBaube.

To view the labels that will appear on cigarette packs, visit the Food and Drug Administration's website.

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