PACK IT IN! This is what we get
told all the time by professionals,
doctors, politicians and friends
family alike. The latest tactic to
employed by the United States
Government is to print pictures of
corpses on packets of cigarettes
in an attempt to deter people from
smoking.

Now this is a bold step, but its not
exactly something new to the
world. The UK has been printing
pictures of rotting gums and teeth
and cancerous lungs on its packs
of cigarettes for a number of years
now. What I am asking today is –
Will it actually make a difference?

Year after year, the powers that be try a different way to get people to stop smoking cigarettes. My opinion (as an ex-smoker) is this: if people want to smoke they will and they will also find the money it costs to buy them. The Government raises the price of cigarettes every year, but that doesn’t deter folks from buying them, they will take their kid’s pocket money to get a fix if they have to.

In Britain we have witnessed the shocking images on packets. I stopped smoking just over a year ago and in all honesty, those pictures had no impact on me whatsoever. It didn’t make me want to stop; in fact it had the opposite effect. I was tired of being told that I had to stop smoking. I feel that this will be the same opinion in the US. More so probably. Ok, Americans being Americans, they have to go bigger and have a picture of a dead body, but in this time of movie magic and computer generated graphics, I just don’t think people will care and all this money will be spent on nothing.

Of course, there are those who will have their minds changed, but the amount will be so few in a country the size of the United States the whole campaign is doomed to be a massive failure. The UK will be abandoning this effort by making all packets of cigarettes have plain wrappings on them or even not having them on display in shops. To me this sounds even more drastic like some form of prohibition. Does the US want to go down that road again in a few years time? I don’t think so.

The example on the right is just one of nine pictures the US is going to put on their packets, but this doesn’t come in to force until September 2012 so there is plenty of time to get a few more kids hooked on tobacco in the meantime. We all know smoking can kill you and I suppose there is merit in having authorities tell you everyday that it does, the problem is that it will take a decision by the smoker to actually quit and move on. Will it be an image of a dead body to make the penny drop? or will it merely just be that people will find that there is no money left in the kid’s piggy banks to raid for a hit of nicotine…

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