New FDA-mandated cigarette pack photos unsettling

Man smoking through stoma
Man smoking through stoma

Today's warnings on cigarette packs are one element that has driven down the percentage of Americans that smoke. Still, 23.5% of American men are puffing away, as well as 17.9% of women. The new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 takes the warning requirement much further, requiring that by the summer, 50% of the upper portion of the front and rear panels of each cigarette pack carry a prominent text warning and a color picture illustrating the damage wrought by cancer sticks.

The FDA is circulating a bevy of proposed artwork for this change; some cartoon illustrations, some photographs of people smoking through the stoma on their neck, cadavers lying on the autopsy slab or a closeup of mouth cancer. Some are thought provoking, some lackluster.