FDA Imitating Cigarette Messaging Technique

In a surreal announcement by lawyers representing the tobacco industry, complainants are crying foul because the FDA is making them post unpleasant pictures of smokers  on cigarette packages they say exaggerate the claim about the ills associated with smoking.

The lawsuit said the images were manipulated to be especially emotional.  The tobacco companies said the corpse photo is actually an actor with a fake scar, while the healthy lungs were sanitized to make the diseased organ look worse. SOURCE

In what is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black, tobacco companies want to deny the federal agency whose goal it is, among other things, to protect consumers against unethical business practices, to cease and desist using methods that exploit the emotions of their consumers.

I suppose cigarette ads like these appealing to women were realistic and not intended to ignore the health issues associated with cigarettes?

How about these older ads before there was a Surgeon General’s warning on the package that promised a sense of relaxation from the tensions of raising children.  What the hell does it mean to “never feel over-smoked”?







And of course every boy looked forward to being seen as a real man with a Marlboro in his hand or hanging from his lips like James Dean.  


You’re not a man until you hack like a cowboy.  Wayne McLaren, the Marlboro man for years in the ad above was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1990 at the young age of 49. He died in 1992. The cancer stricken cowboy spent the rest of his life campaigning against smoking.

These fantasy worlds that were exposed to all of us for years left many people with serious lung diseases or ailments.  I smoked for seventeen years.  I swore off of them after getting tired of waking up each morning coughing up green phlegm.  My mother died of emphysema even though she had quit smoking 15 years before her death.  She walked around with an oxygen tank for the last few years of her life.  My dad died of congestive heart failure that the doctors said was related to his pack and a half a day smoking.

The pictures being mandated by the FDA to appear on cigarette packages may not be the real McCoy but what they suggest is more apt to happen than any of the fantasies alluded too in cigarette ads down the years.

Smoking, when you look at it objectively says I believed the hype the ads promoted.  I really thought I would be more adult and more attractive to others with this thing hanging out of my mouth.  The fact is, I hung on to this phony image so long that now I’m addicted to the nicotine in it and would rather deny it’s potential harm to me than make the difficult effort to quit.


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