Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For You Visual Learners
The FDA is ramping up anti-smoking initiatives, including a plan to add graphic warnings to smoking packages. The agency just released potential ads, including the one you see on the right. You can view all nine proposals here. Check them out.

The process before final implementation is still a lengthy one: a period of public comment before they decide on the few that will actually be used, then the Tobacco Control Act authorizing this regulation (passed, it should be noted, by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Obama) allows 15 months before such a rule could take effect. So, it will not be until late 2012 that we actually see these on the shelves.

I'm not crazy about all of the pictures they chose, but in general, this campaign is an excellent plan, making all the more real the dangers of smoking, and upgrading the warning from what is otherwise ignorable as small print. Smoking is a menace - not just to the public health system, but to the poor unfortunate souls - including children - that breathe it in without having the slightest interest in taking a puff. If we can keep someone from taking up the nasty addiction, or help give an extra incentive to someone trying to stop, all the better.

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