I received my first anti-smoking education when I was in 6th grade in middle school. I remember learning about the different warnings that cigarette companies had to put on every pack of cigarettes.
I remember thinking that if I ever manufactured cigarettes, I would use the warning “Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide.” That warning makes smoking sound so harmless — I figured it was the best warning to use if you wanted to sell more cigarettes. It doesn’t even mention the bad effects that smoking has on your body; and if someone doesn’t happen to know what carbon monoxide is, then they will smoke in blissful ignorance.
I never did end up in the cigarette industry — and no, I don’t have any regrets! Starting on September 22, 2012, all cigarette manufacturers in the United States will be required to place very large warning graphics in their advertising and on every single pack of cigarettes.
One of the graphics discusses a topic that is taught in great detail at all dental schools across the United States — oral cancer.
Cigarette smoking doesn’t just cause oral cancer. Did you know that smokers have less teeth than non-smokers?
How to Look at the Nine New Cigarette Warning Labels
You can view all nine of the cigarette warnings at this page. The oral cancer one is #5.
If you want to see the new cigarette warnings in high resolution, you can download this PDF file provided by the Food and Drug Administration.
Will The New Cigarette Warnings Make a Difference?
All of my patients that are smokers know that it can harm their bodies. They know that they shouldn’t do it, but they keep doing it. I would imagine that even with these new warnings, most smokers will continue their cancer-causing habit.
However, the population that I think these new warnings will benefit are children and teenagers. By putting a visual aid on every pack of cigarettes, it will make children and adolescents think twice before beginning a habit that can damage their bodies.
Learn about one simple way to reduce your risk of oral cancer.
What’s Your Take?
Do you think that the new cigarette warnings will help fight the war against tobacco? Do you think they won’t make a difference? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!