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The most powerful of the graphic cigarette warning labels play into our deepest fear: ugliness

Cigarette Warning Label1

It remains to be seen whether the FDA's graphic cigarette warning labels will be effective. The proposed ads offer up a variety of in-your-face reality checks: a lung fill with tumors, a woman crying because she got cancer from secondhand smoke, a man sick with cancer. But perhaps the ads that'll make the most impact are the ones that play into physical appearance. I'd argue that we're more controlled by our vanity than our fears of addiction, cancer, even death. How many times have you heard someone say they'd quit smoking were it not for the risk of weight gain? Of course, what these new ads will show are that a few extra pounds are nothing next to lip cancer or a hole in your throat.

--Alexandra Le Tellier

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Photos: Cigarette labels featuring graphic images have been proposed by the FDA. Credit: Food and Drug Administration

 

Comments () | Archives (3)

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Sebastien Le Tellier

This is true. The same goes with other drugs as well. 3D imaging is used o detour high school students from using meth. 3D pics are taken of students and images are created to show the student how they will look after using meth for x amount of time. Studies show that playing on vanity is more effective that simply listing health concerns.

tennyson

playing on vanity will be more effective in So Cal than other parts of the country where folks tend not to be so obsessed with how they look, this L.A. vanity factor came out in the "LA most stressed city" survey - hey, whatever works....

AceCool

Amazing that cigs are soooo evil and everyone if pushing to make pot legal!


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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