Thursday, March 1, 2012

A sad day for Tobacco Use Prevention

Several times in 2009 and 2010 I shared information and updates related to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.  It was signed into PL 111-31 in June of 2009.  The law has mandates that roll out over time.  
For instance, the first changes stopped companies from  calling cigarettes light or low tar, banned the selling of flavored cigarettes except menthol, increased the size of the warning labels on smokeless tobacco products and tobacco print ads.

In this post I talked about the change that was due later -in 2014 I believe.  It regards graphic pictures on cigarette packs that are to take up 50% of the label. I also provided a link to what some of those labels might look like (in the prior post). The cigarette makers were to offer mockups (my 2011 post shows examples) before the rule took effect- and in the meantime they took the issue to court.  (A similar thing (meaning - a similar backlash) is happening in Australia - but they have had the graphic labels for a while.  We actually copied THEM because of the success.  Now Australia wants NO label at all.).

The cigarette makers - globally - are fighting any of the label mandates on the grounds that it violates their free speech - in re: their right to label their products as they see fit I suppose.  This week the Supreme Court of the USA sided with them.  It is a sad day.

Sadder still for this observation I had yesterday....

I was walking on campus to a building and coming towards me was a young student.  I am very much a detail oriented people watcher, so as she was approaching me, I noticed a few things.  She had brown hair, sort of curly and shoulder length.  I noticed it because it was bouncy and healthy looking. I also noticed her complexion.  She appeared very youthful.  I got nostalgic for my early twenties and that same wrinkle free skin.  At about the time we were to actually pass each other, her right arm came up and in her hand - a lit cigarette - the side stream smoke rose up into the air as she drew a long puff into her lungs and the mainstream smoke surrounded her face.  I thought, "oh Well - so long to that hair and skin."  Of course a nice graphic warning label depicting the wrinkles in store for a young woman might be a good smoking deterrent.

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