Getting Gruesome to Stop Smoking

New FDA regulations call for gruesome labeling on cigarette packaging. Will this stop smokers?

Images proposed for the FDA's new anti-smoking campaign (

In 1965, more than half of American men smoked, more than a third of women. And tobacco producers stoutly denied smoking was a health problem. 

Now we know better. More than 400,000 Americans die every year from smoking-related health problems: cance; heart disease. 

And still, twenty percent of Americans smoke — 46 million smokers. 

A new campaign will vividly put the price of smoking right on the cigarette pack. Big pictures of rotten lungs, heart attacks, dead bodies. Will it work? 

-Tom Ashbrook


Duff Wilson, reporter for the New York Times. Read his article: “Cigarette Giants in Global Fight On Tougher Rules.”

Andrew Strasser, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral laboratory director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center. He’s an investigator for Penn’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction.

Cheryl Healton, president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in March 1998 as a result of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between a coalition of state attorneys general and the tobacco industry. It is funded primarily by payments designated by the settlement. She is also a Professor of Clinical Public Health at Columbia University.

Paul Nelson, executive vice president and executive director of the ad agency Arnold Communications, which has been behind the award-winning “Truth” campaign, designed to drive young people away from smoking.


**Tobacco users anywhere in the United States can access cessation assistance by dialing 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a national portal that links to state quitlines.

Here are more images proposed by the FDA to be placed on cigarette packs:

And here’s an advertisement from the “Truth” campaign:

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