A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, and that seems to be the hope, anyway, as the Food and Drug Administration advances new warning labels for cigarettes that include gruesome images of what smoking can do.
The FDA recently released the nine new warning labels for cigarette packages. Manufacturers must begin using the labels by fall 2012.
The labels, which will take up the top half of a pack of cigarettes, feature pictures of rotting teeth, diseased lungs and the corpse of a smoker, among other unpleasant images.
A new FDA rule requires that the labels include a national quit-smoking hot line number. Warning labels also must constitute 20 percent of an ad.
Some cigarette manufacturers are challenging the legality of the new rules in a federal lawsuit.
We hope the new warning labels will discourage people who are considering smoking and encourage those who do smoke to quit.
It’s also important that those who want to kick the habit have adequate access to resources to help them quit smoking.
Efforts to discourage smoking require a variety of approaches, including increased tobacco taxes.
Instead, Gov. Bobby Jindal recently vetoed legislation to renew an existing 4-cent tax on cigarettes.
It’s another sad example of Louisiana going in the wrong direction.