Gross-Out Cigarette Labels Drive Spike In Quit-Line Calls

The new gross-out cigarette warning labels may already be having the intended effect: Calls to a national smoker's quit line more than doubled the day the graphic warnings were unveiled to the public.

Nine new labels feature disturbing images of dead bodies, diseased lungs, a weeping woman, a man on a ventilator and mouthful of rotten teeth.

The photos won't appear on cigarettes until next year, but msnbc.com and other media outlets shared these shocking images last Tuesday.

Calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW smoking cessation line surpassed 4,800 last Tuesday and 3,200 on Wednesday. A typical Tuesday or Wednesday in June sees about 2,000 calls, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The new labels replace the traditional "Surgeon General's Warning" text strips with stark color photographs that cover the entire top half of each cigarette pack. They also carry the 1-800-QUIT-NOW number and warnings like "Smoking can kill you."

The FDA estimates the new labels will reduce the number of smokers by 213,000 in 2013, with smaller additional reductions through 2031.


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  • by Job Security on Jul 4, 2011 at 06:22 AM
    I agree smoking and drinking harm so many people that it should go away but I also know this would never happen. If a product is legal, then let people decided whether to use these products and kill themselves slowly or not. Both are major health hazards and contribute to our already overwhelmed health care system.....but, you people keep on poisoning yourself, it's good job security for those of us in the healthcare field.
  • by srcaufalot Location: Farmville on Jul 3, 2011 at 05:18 PM
    Why don't they do the same with Alcohol and Pills. Tobacco was North Carolina's cash crop at one time before the govt' took over.
  • by pick your battles on Jul 3, 2011 at 03:27 PM
    you know, they wouldnt show a picture of an aborted fetus on the sign of a clinic. bev perdue thought it was a terrible thing to ask mothers to have ultrasounds in order to show them what it is they are doing. she called it invasive. whats the difference? i should mention that i am GLAD the pictures are getting people to try to stop smoking. wonderful. but if the liberal government wants to think for us, why are they only picking SOME things? because cigarette companies do not support the liberals--the less money they have, the less money to their 'enemies' the conservatives. i hope everyone quits smoking, but i wont be fooled by this tactic, hope youre not either.
  • by Jerry Location: ENC on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM
    Ok, Well...I am a smoker. I honestly Have no desire to quit. But I will stop smoking for long periods of time until I just decide to smoke again. I smoked a pk a day for nearly 14 yrs. PERSONALY, IT WOULD NOT HURT MY FEELING IF THEY JUST STOPPED MAKING CIGS AND BEER. NO TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND NO ALCOHOL PRODUCTS...NO PROBLEM. Its kinda like this, smoking is a personal choice and so is drinking. so, either stop making them or cut the extra taxes and let it be.!!!!!!!! ((Consider it population control))
  • by Hombre' on Jul 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM
    Maybe they need to put a pictue of a drinking driver, that cause a wreck, had his legs and arm cut off and lived to tell it. But that won't never happen.Our politicaly correct world. Vote someone new.
  • by ECU student on Jul 3, 2011 at 08:25 AM
    I quit smoking two year ago but this is just stupid. How about the government let the people make their own decisions. First cigarettes, then alcohol, then fast food, guns,SUV's anything Big Brother deems dangerous to us. Remember The government knows what is best for us and our children.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Jul 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM in reply to ECU student
      Exactly. What if big government decides all legal American citizens must wear color-coded uniforms in public, like school children, so they can recognize legals vs. illegals, and take it a step further; make ex-cons wear orange uniforms for ten years after their release from prison, again so they are recognizable? Now, that IS a scary thought!
  • by laura Location: washington on Jul 3, 2011 at 08:00 AM
    I wonder if they showed women who want to get an abortion a garbage can full of aborted fetuses if they would go through with the procedure.....just wondering.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2011 at 08:43 AM in reply to laura
      Where have you been? There are idiots out there parading those images around.
      • reply
        by maybe so on Jul 3, 2011 at 06:24 PM in reply to
        but not the government! they should play fair if they want to invade our personal thinking space! overtly, anyways...
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:21 AM in reply to maybe so
          Those are two entirely different issues, so no
  • by Puh-Leez on Jul 3, 2011 at 07:29 AM
    Kinda makes you wonder, if cigarettes are that serious of a health risk, why not just make them illegal? Answer: Because the government likes the tax revenue....I love how they play both sides of the issue, a total contradiction in their logic! End message: Please smoke a lot, we need the revenue, but if you do smoke, here is some gruesome images for your smoking pleasure!
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Jul 3, 2011 at 11:55 AM in reply to Puh-Leez
      Exactly.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:21 AM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
        No, not "exactly" More like if they tried to make them illegal no one on the consumer end would support the move. It is a lot more difficult to remove a product than it is to change the labeling laws.
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jul 3, 2011 at 07:20 AM
    Cool.
  • by citizen Location: pitt on Jul 3, 2011 at 05:35 AM
    What are they going to put on liqor bottles and beer cans? HAPPY FACES
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