Thai cigarettes as stocked for sale at a convenience store - Bangkok and elsewhere
Those of you who've visited Thailand have undoubtedly already seen the warnings printed on every pack and carton of cigarettes sold there, unless you don't know anyone who smokes, haven't seen anyone with a pack while out somewhere or have managed to avoid all convenience stores [I'm repeating an image above for today's post, by the way]. Granted, cigarettes aren't displayed openly there as often as they are here in the US, but they're visible.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been rightly tooting their horns in celebration recently about the images that will be on packs here as they are there. Naturally they're watered down versions of what they'd like on packs - they're nowhere near as jolting or dramatic as the Thai examples - but hopefully they'll help.
It's a very safe bet that the tobacco industry has invested millions and millions of dollars to lobby against this, as they've done with any attempt to diminish their profits - or admit any responsibility for their part in the millions of deaths and related health complications from tobacco use. They've probably had the more graphic images taken out of the running and the photos won't begin to appear on packs here until the fall of 2012 - more than a year away.
Nevertheless, it's something... and I'm pleased.
A proposed image for a USA cigarette warning
Another proposed image for a USA cigarette warning