Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled nine new graphic health warnings for cigarette labels as part of the government's efforts to curb smoking. The ads will be required on the upper half of cigarette packages on both the front and back, and on at least 20 percent of all cigarette advertisements. The new labels are a result of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which granted the FDA more power to regulate tobacco products.
The grisly images include a stitched cadaver of a man presumably killed by a tobacco-related disease and a man blowing smoke out of a tracheotomy hole. I'm not sure you'd want to, but you can see the full size images of the warnings on the FDA's site.
Since 1970, the share of smokers has fallen from 40 percent of Americans to about 20 percent (a rate that's been relatively constant since 2004). Will the images push the rest of the smokers to quit?
Maybe. In the best-case scenario, these images will remove the "glamour" of smoking and have the intended visceral impact that will help smokers quit and convince others to never start. At least initially. It's likely the shock of the labels will wear off over time.