FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

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FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

Federal appeals court strikes down FDA tobacco warning label law

A government mandate requiring tobacco companies to place graphic images on their products warning of the dangers of smoking was tossed out Friday by a divided federal appeals court, with the majority saying the requirements were a violation of free speech protections.

The Food and Drug Administration was ordered to immediately revise its rules.

"The First Amendment requires the government not only to state a substantial interest justifying a regulation on commercial speech, but also to show that its regulation directly advances that goal," wrote Judge Janice Rogers Brown. "FDA failed to present any data -- much less the substantial evidence required under the federal law -- showing that enacting their proposed graphic warnings will accomplish the agency's stated objective of reducing smoking rates. The rule thus cannot pass muster" under past court precedent.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed in 2009, would have required nine written warnings such as "Cigarettes are addictive" and "Tobacco smoke causes harm to children." Also included would have been alternating images of a corpse and smoke-infected lungs.
...
"The government's attempt to reformulate its interest as purely informational is unconvincing, as an interest in 'effective' communication is too vague to stand on its own," said Brown, named to the bench by President George W. Bush. "Indeed, the government's chosen buzzwords, which it reiterates through the rulemaking, prompt an obvious question: 'effective' in what sense?"
In dissent, Judge Judith Rogers said the rules do not violate commercial speech protections.
"The government has an interest of paramount importance in effectively conveying information about the health risks of smoking to adolescent would-be smokers and other consumers," said Rogers, named to the bench by President Clinton. "The tobacco companies' decades of deception regarding these risks, especially the risk of addiction, buttress this interest."
...
Health groups condemned the latest decision.
"Today's ruling ignores strong scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of larger, graphic warning labels in communicating the health dangers of tobacco use," said Dr. Robert Block, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "With 10 million cigarettes sold every minute and almost 3,000 children under the age of 18 starting to smoke each day, this ruling puts children's lives at risk."
The word and image warning labels would have covered half of the cigarette packs sold at retail outlets and 20% of cigarette advertising. The warnings were scheduled to appear on cigarette packs beginning next month.
...


While the warnings on cigarettes in the US are woefully inadequate (They're currently required to display only one warning out of several on a pack, so...Buy a carton! Collect them all! Then you'll be fullymostly informed on the dangers of smoking!) and I very much support fuller warnings, perhaps something similar to the handouts given out with prescription medication detailing effects and risks of the medication, I'm glad for this decision.

Mandatory inclusion of grotesque images serves no compelling public interest. Of course smoking increases overall healthcare costs, but alcohol bottles aren't required to display images of a person with a swollen belly and yellow skin from cirrhosis, nor are coffee beans required to display images of a stroke victim in soiled pants. The only purpose of grotesque images is to use cheap psychological tactics to condition people into disliking a substance, an admittedly addictive and harmful substance, that happens to be the least popular among politicians.

The argument that tobacco companies target minors gets thrown around a lot, and there may be a sliver of truth to that, but call me back when 25% of all alcohol in the US isn't consumed by minors drinking peppermint schnapps and Mike's Hard Lemonade.

I hate to throw around buzzwords like "nanny state", but these kind of ironically childish tactics are very much paternalism at its most transparent and they would never be resorted to if policy makers thought Americans would actually support a ban on tobacco. But Americans don't, so at least we have judges to put a stop to such nonsense.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

Is there any in the US that isn't aware that smoking causes cancer, and a whole slew of other health problems? If there is, I'd suggest that person smoke a lot more often.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:36 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Is there any in the US that isn't aware that smoking causes cancer, and a whole slew of other health problems? If there is, I'd suggest that person smoke a lot more often.
And I'd suggest people inform that person of what they don't know, rather than being a smugly smarmy asshole about it.

I'm honestly not sure I can find a way to support making cigarettes feature such graphic labels without finding myself accidentally supporting something I would find abominable.

Iulus Cofield wrote:Mandatory inclusion of grotesque images serves no compelling public interest. Of course smoking increases overall healthcare costs, but alcohol bottles aren't required to display images of a person with a swollen belly and yellow skin from cirrhosis, nor are coffee beans required to display images of a stroke victim in soiled pants. The only purpose of grotesque images is to use cheap psychological tactics to condition people into disliking a substance, an admittedly addictive and harmful substance, that happens to be the least popular among politicians.
Neither alcohol nor coffee are as addictive as cigarettes, and that addictive quality is what makes the health risks that much more prevalent. Again, I'm not sure I can find sound reasons to support the graphic labels, but there are enough differences amongst these substances that I don't think the argument you've made against them here holds much water.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:18 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:And I'd suggest people inform that person of what they don't know, rather than being a smugly smarmy asshole about it.


There are legitimate reasons for not knowing about the effects of cigarettes. You are a recent immigrant from Crapistan. You are 5 years old. You spent the last 10 years in, well, *trigger warning*. I'm just sick to death about being constantly told about how deadly cigarettes are. I've heard it all before, I'm not smoking, STFU already and tell someone who doesn't know!

Honestly, I'm convinced that the Truth campaign is actually a ploy by the tobacco companies to make not smoking as uncool as possible. You have these obnoxious twats prattle on about cigarettes and death and so on. But these kids are the most obnoxious assholes that could be found, and they are constantly telling you what to do. You want to just smoke a whole pack and blow it in their face out of spite.

Princess Marzipan wrote:Neither alcohol nor coffee are as addictive as cigarettes


Actually, caffeine is roughly as addictive as nicotine. Alcohol isn't quite as addictive, but it's probably more dangerous overall.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:25 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tirian » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:19 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Again, I'm not sure I can find sound reasons to support the graphic labels[...].


Research seems to indicate that they are effective. That said, I'm split on the specific images and I think the court is right to limit the government's authority to scientific and factual appeals. Forcing companies to portray images like a woman blowing smoke in a baby's face that will have only an emotional reaction is, in my opinion, on the other side of the line.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:25 am UTC

I dunno, though. Companies abuse our emotional response circuitry on a constant basis in order to convince us to buy their products. When government allows such appeals to be used for the goal of attaining profit, I honestly can't see the sense in crying foul when government tells a for-profit business to use the appeals for the goal of informing their customers of a not entirely uncommon result of a product.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:49 am UTC

The text of the decision itself can be found here [PDF link].
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tirian » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:36 am UTC

Yup, that was a fair ruling. As much as I'm sure they won't, I hope the government gets over the butthurt and starts remedying the situation immediately instead of appealing this to the Supremes.

FWIW, it took on those studies I cited earlier. Turns out that the government's only stated goal in the advertising is reducing smoking rates, but the studies they cited all only showed that they were effective in making smokers more aware of the message, and the government never bothered to show whether graphic warnings make people quit.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby sam_i_am » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:52 pm UTC

Even if it was proven that such labels are effective, I'd say that it's not quite proper to force companies to advertise against themselves.

It's easy to hate on the tobacco companies, but imagine if such a law was applied in other, similar instances. I don't know if I'd like the results.

Not to mention that you kinda have a conflict of interest when you make a company advertise against themselves. There are other ways to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking, and from my perspective, those other ways are fairly prevalent.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:55 am UTC

sam_i_am wrote:Even if it was proven that such labels are effective, I'd say that it's not quite proper to force companies to advertise against themselves.
It's not advertising against themselves so much as the government forcing them to provide specific information to their customers. If you're going to sell lung-poisoning cancer sticks, people buying them should be damn well fully aware that they're lung-poisoning cancer sticks.

sam_i_am wrote:There are other ways to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking, and from my perspective, those other ways are fairly prevalent
Why should the government, and therefore the taxpayers, have to foot the bill for making sure people are informed about the ill effects of a company's product, as opposed to requiring the company to fully inform its customers in the first place, thereby cutting out an unneeded middleman?
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:02 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:Even if it was proven that such labels are effective, I'd say that it's not quite proper to force companies to advertise against themselves.
It's not advertising against themselves so much as the government forcing them to provide specific information to their customers. If you're going to sell lung-poisoning cancer sticks, people buying them should be damn well fully aware that they're lung-poisoning cancer sticks.

sam_i_am wrote:There are other ways to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking, and from my perspective, those other ways are fairly prevalent
Why should the government, and therefore the taxpayers, have to foot the bill for making sure people are informed about the ill effects of a company's product, as opposed to requiring the company to fully inform its customers in the first place, thereby cutting out an unneeded middleman?


I absolutely support government mandates requiring companies producing potentially dangerous products to fully disclose any and all potential dangers. I fail to see why such a mandate would necessitate grotesque and shocking pictures. People be literate, yo. I am unaware of any regulation mandating that consumer information needs to be in pictorial form. Nutrition facts would be very confusing if they had to illustrate the presence of potassium.

I have no idea where you got the idea that taxpayers pay for anti-smoking ads.

Legal Zoom wrote:It all started back in 1998. As part of a $206 billion dollar settlement, major tobacco companies like Philip Morris agreed to pay for advertising campaigns to educate consumers about the dangers of tobacco. Not only were they barred from advertising their own products or sponsoring events geared towards teenagers, they also had to contribute millions annually to support these anti-smoking ads in every state

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:38 am UTC

Advertisements which are so awful and obnoxious that you want to smoke out of spite.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Malice » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:27 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:Even if it was proven that such labels are effective, I'd say that it's not quite proper to force companies to advertise against themselves.
It's not advertising against themselves so much as the government forcing them to provide specific information to their customers. If you're going to sell lung-poisoning cancer sticks, people buying them should be damn well fully aware that they're lung-poisoning cancer sticks.

sam_i_am wrote:There are other ways to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking, and from my perspective, those other ways are fairly prevalent
Why should the government, and therefore the taxpayers, have to foot the bill for making sure people are informed about the ill effects of a company's product, as opposed to requiring the company to fully inform its customers in the first place, thereby cutting out an unneeded middleman?


I absolutely support government mandates requiring companies producing potentially dangerous products to fully disclose any and all potential dangers. I fail to see why such a mandate would necessitate grotesque and shocking pictures. People be literate, yo. I am unaware of any regulation mandating that consumer information needs to be in pictorial form. Nutrition facts would be very confusing if they had to illustrate the presence of potassium.


Actually, the only defensible reason for this is that not everybody be literate, yo. There are people who can't read, or who can't read English, who still need the information.

That said, emotionally manipulative pictures cross the line from information to advertising. That's where serious biases can be introduced and it's not a good precedent to allow that from the government.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Blackdomino » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:02 am UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_i ... ted_States
According to the above slightly more than 20% of adults are not literate enough to perform day to day needs. That's surprisingly high.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby jules.LT » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:10 am UTC

They should display these instead:
Image
Text says "To smoke is to be tobacco's slave".

True. Shocking. Non-gory.
Also, the literacy argument.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Chen » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:50 am UTC

jules.LT wrote:They should display these instead:
Image
Text says "To smoke is to be a slave to tobacco".

True. Shocking. Non-gory.
Also, the literacy argument.


Of course these also give absolutely no information about the product and why its bad, they're just saying its bad. I could make similar adds for alcohol and caffeine and they'd be just as "true".

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby jules.LT » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:11 pm UTC

There is no debate that tobacco, alcohol and junk food are seriously bad for health. People just need to be reminded of it.
Caffeine is less well-known, so you'd probably want something more explicative for that one. I personally wouldn't have lumped it in with the rest: I know it's addictive, but not if there's a reasonable intake that one shouldn't exceed and if there are long term health dangers. Hence the need for additional information on the product.

Edit: apparently, there are various positive effects on health as well as negative effects for extreme consumption. Very much unlike the other products mentioned.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Red Hal » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

Read this. If the Tobacco industry did not have a 40 year-long history of denying the links between tobacco and lung cancer; if they were not on record as having deliberately causing doubt and controversy in public when internally they already knew of the link; if they had not deliberately set out to market cigarettes to children, then I would have some sympathy for their case. As it is, I freely admit to being biased and partisan. If I had my way I would impose the same conditions on sale as is about to happen in the UK, a prohibition on the display of tobacco products at the point of sale, to go along with the ban on tobacco advertising. I would go further; Generic packaging only, with white boxes and helvetica 12 point text with no text allowed apart from the manufacturer/brand and type of cigarette.

Yes, the tobacco industry may argue that we are infringing their freedom of speech, but they are on record as having taken that right and used it to deliberately obfuscate, deny and outright lie about the health risks of their product. Do I belive in freedom of speech for the individual? Absolutely. Do I believe in freedom of speech for the malevolent corporation? Absolutely not.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:51 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:Even if it was proven that such labels are effective, I'd say that it's not quite proper to force companies to advertise against themselves.

It's easy to hate on the tobacco companies, but imagine if such a law was applied in other, similar instances. I don't know if I'd like the results.
Not proper? Look at what your government is doing to prevent the sale of other, less harmful, products in their war on drugs? This is the exact type of thing the government should be doing. We are taking about products that should be outright banned.

Iulus Cofield wrote:I absolutely support government mandates requiring companies producing potentially dangerous products to fully disclose any and all potential dangers. I fail to see why such a mandate would necessitate grotesque and shocking pictures. People be literate, yo.
First, as other have stated, people aren't literate. Not at the level needed to understand to clearly understand this:
Image
And they definitely don't have the ability to read at that level when they are 12, the time when the tobacco companies are really trying to wrap their finger around you.

A picture is worth a thousand words. We all know that people aren't going to go out and actually read those thousand words. If the picture is shocking and grotesque, that is only because text can insufficiently describe the situation.


Iulus Cofield wrote:I am unaware of any regulation mandating that consumer information needs to be in pictorial form. Nutrition facts would be very confusing if they had to illustrate the presence of potassium.
Err, this regulation? And regulation exactly like it in every like it in every reasonable country?
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Роберт » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

I want cute Ikea-style drawings that indicate how much smoking can mess you up.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:22 pm UTC

OOoooo, we make cigarette packages play annoying songs when you open the package about how cigarettes are going to kill you. Like on birthday cards.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:03 pm UTC

And the Senator that proposes the singing cartons would just happen to have the company that makes those miniature sound things in his state...

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Роберт » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:10 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:And the Senator that proposes the singing cartons would just happen to have the company that makes those miniature sound things in his state...

It's funny because it's true.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tirian » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:24 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:A picture is worth a thousand words. We all know that people aren't going to go out and actually read those thousand words. If the picture is shocking and grotesque, that is only because text can insufficiently describe the situation.


I think the ruling may have gone better for the government if they stuck with information-based pictures. However, a number of the images were chosen to evoke emotions rather than inquiry, and this was a conscious decision on the government's part.

Image

This may as well say "Warning: Smokers are assholes," and I think that the court is right to declare that it is a novel interpretation of the government's authority to regulate drugs that doesn't have a basis in law or precedent.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby faranim » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Advertisements which are so awful and obnoxious that you want to smoke out of spite.


I'm pretty sure there's a South Park episode with that exact plot.

I think it's OK for the government to require tobacco companies to print warning on their packaging. How is it any different than requiring food nutrition information, and things like allergy warnings for nuts?

But I think the design of the warnings should be up to the tobacco companies - which then need to be approved by the FDA. I wouldn't be comfortable with the FDA saying "put these images/warnings on your packaging or else"

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:41 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Actually, the only defensible reason for this is that not everybody be literate, yo. There are people who can't read, or who can't read English, who still need the information.

That said, emotionally manipulative pictures cross the line from information to advertising. That's where serious biases can be introduced and it's not a good precedent to allow that from the government.


Literacy is a problem...but a fairly small one in the US, and it's a very general problem. The answer to a lack of literacy shouldn't be "use pictures instead", it should just be to fix the illiteracy.

And seriously, even if you've never read a scrap in your life, you'd be hard pressed to miss that cigarettes are gonna kill you via lung cancer and such. Hell, those commercials on TV usually come with audio anyway, right?

Yeah, the gov went a bit too far into the advertising aspect instead of purely informing people, so, even if the victim in this case is particularly unsympathetic...they needed to get smacked down.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby LtNOWIS » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:02 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:And the Senator that proposes the singing cartons would just happen to have the company that makes those miniature sound things in his state...

I don't think we have any Senators from China...

Anyways, I agree with the above posters that trying to provoke an emotional response is substantially different than a warning label that merely seeks to inform. The courts made the right decision.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Kulantan » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Literacy is a problem...but a fairly small one in the US, and it's a very general problem. The answer to a lack of literacy shouldn't be "use pictures instead", it should just be to fix the illiteracy.

And seriously, even if you've never read a scrap in your life, you'd be hard pressed to miss that cigarettes are gonna kill you via lung cancer and such. Hell, those commercials on TV usually come with audio anyway, right?

Yeah, the gov went a bit too far into the advertising aspect instead of purely informing people, so, even if the victim in this case is particularly unsympathetic...they needed to get smacked down.


Except the evidence is that people are pretty ignorant about the health risks and are better informed by graphic labels rather than just text:

Effectiveness of cigarette warning labels in informing smokers about the risks of smoking: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
The impact of graphic cigarette warning labels and smoke-free law on health awareness and thoughts of quitting in Taiwan
Smokers' reactions to cigarette package warnings with graphic imagery and with only text: A comparison between Mexico and Canada
How reactions to cigarette packet health warnings influence quitting: findings from the ITC Four-Country survey

Sure you can make the argument that the government shouldn't be doing graphic warning labels. But don't ignore the evidence and say that people wouldn't be better informed and therefore think more seriously about quitting (or not starting in the first place) because of graphic warnings.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

Those surveys rely either entirely or in part on non-american subjects. So...not the most relevant.

In the US, if you have managed to avoid knowledge of smoking's health risks, you have been pretty disconnected from society at large. It's been pretty damned well publicized, packs have been labeled for ages in a pretty large and clear fashion, there are commercials on the television, ads in print media. If anything, I'd expect consumer fatigue to be an issue. "Yeah, sure, another warning label. I'm not gonna read it".

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Obby » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:In the US, if you have managed to avoid knowledge of smoking's health risks, you have been pretty disconnected from society at large. It's been pretty damned well publicized, packs have been labeled for ages in a pretty large and clear fashion, there are commercials on the television, ads in print media.

To further your point, I was taught about it in school during that whole D.A.R.E. program as well, when I was in... I think 4th grade.

It was pretty fun looking at pictures in school of what happens to smoker's lungs, and then going home and telling my parents that their lungs are black like charcoal. (read: not fun at all)
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Kulantan » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:31 am UTC

Are you really going to say that "the US is so special that science doesn't apply" without even reading the studies?
Effectiveness of cigarette warning labels in informing smokers about the risks of smoking: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey wrote:It is commonly assumed and often argued by the tobacco industry that smokers are adequately informed about the health risks of smoking.18,34,35 This study clearly demonstrates that this assumption is false. The findings indicate significant gaps in smokers’ understanding of the risks of smoking: most, but not all, smokers reported that smoking causes heart disease and lung cancer in smokers—health consequences that have been established for over 25 years; more than a quarter of smokers did not believe that smoking caused stroke; and fewer than half of smokers believed that smoking causes impotence. Smokers’ knowledge of toxic constituents in tobacco smoke was also unacceptably low.

It is important to note that these results derive from smokers in among the most affluent, most highly educated countries in the world and in countries with among the most comprehensive tobacco control policies. We would expect health knowledge to be substantially lower among the majority of the world’s smokers, particularly those living in lower and middle income countries where resources for tobacco control are non-existent or lower by orders of magnitude.

The findings also indicate that health warnings on cigarette packages are a prominent source of health information. Approximately two-thirds of smokers cited cigarette packages as a source of health information, with a significant association between the strength of package health warnings (as depicted in fig 1) and the likelihood of citing packages as a source of health information. In short, larger, more comprehensive warnings were more likely to be cited as a source of health information. For example, over 84% of smokers living in Canada—the country with the strongest health warnings—cited packages as a source of health information, compared with only 47% of those in the USA, the country with the weakest health warnings.

Not only were health warnings self-identified as an important source of health information about smoking, but also an effective means of communicating health information. The results provide evidence at both the individual and country-level that health warnings on cigarette packages are strongly associated with health knowledge. First, noticing labels was strongly associated with endorsing each of the five health effects, after controlling for smoking behaviour, demographic variables, and the frequency of noticing anti-media in general. Smokers who reported noticing warnings were between 1.5–3.0 times more likely to believe in each health effect. Second, in all five cases where labelling policies differed between countries, smokers living in countries with government mandated warnings reported greater health knowledge. This pattern is best illustrated in the case of smokers’ knowledge of impotence. Canada was the only country where packages carry warnings about impotence, and accordingly, Canadian smokers were almost three times more likely than smokers from the other three countries to believe that smoking causes impotence. This finding provides a measure of specificity for the effect of warning labels; we are unaware of any media source or educational initiative in Canada, other than the package warnings, to have highlighted the risks of impotence. Clearly, smokers in the other four countries may have been exposed to information on impotence and other health risks not listed on the pack; however, this only strengthens the findings on the effectiveness of the warnings.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby darkone238 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:07 am UTC

So almost every smoker was able to report that it causes lung cancer and heart disease without a picture on the label. Does anyone actually care that they didn't know it also causes strokes and impotence? Does showing them a picture of a baby and some smoke demonstrate that smoking causes those things?

I'm all for informing customers about a product, but I don't see the value in that study.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:30 am UTC

The thread in which it was revealed the secret agenda of the anti-tobacco lobby:

Mandatory pictures of flaccid penises for all.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Kulantan » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:09 am UTC

darkone238 wrote:So almost every smoker was able to report that it causes lung cancer and heart disease without a picture on the label.

Given the way the survey was carried out*, it is likely that the 94.3% is an overestimate. It looks like closer to 1 in 10 rather than 1 in 20 smokers didn't know that smoking raises the risk of lung cancer. More than 1 in 10 smokers didn't know that it raises the risk of heart disease. I don't class that as "almost every" given the severity of the issue and the clarity of the science.

darkone238 wrote:Does anyone actually care that they didn't know it also causes strokes and impotence? Does showing them a picture of a baby and some smoke demonstrate that smoking causes those things?

I'm all for informing customers about a product, but I don't see the value in that study.

I actually do care that it also causes strokes and roughly doubles my risk of impotence. I care that one in three smokers don't know smoking increases the risk of strokes and I care that two thirds don't know about the risk of impotence.

If you don't see the value in informing people about the risks of smoking then I can see how you can view the study as having little value. Personally I like an environment where I'm informed of the risks of an activity before doing it.

*Asking "does smoking cause lung cancer?" rather than "what ill effects does smoking cause"
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

Kulantan wrote:Are you really going to say that "the US is so special that science doesn't apply" without even reading the studies?


Yes. Social studies on "not the US" tells us jack-all about the situation in the US.

Every smoker in the US I've ever met and discussed the subject with is aware that cigs are dangerous and can(and probably will) frigging kill you. They just don't care.

Remember when it came out that yellow #5(IIRC) caused decreased sperm count, etc, and many links to Mt Dew were made? Did Mt Dew sales fall off a cliff? No.

Are about two thirds of people in the US unaware that being overweight is unhealthy? Extremely unlikely. But we are. There's a point where further awareness campaigns accomplish pretty much nothing, or even turn the whole thing into a joke.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:55 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Remember when it came out that yellow #5(IIRC) caused decreased sperm count, etc, and many links to Mt Dew were made? Did Mt Dew sales fall off a cliff? No.

That's a myth. Which is probably why it wasn't treated with the same gravity as "smoking causes cancer."

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Princess Marzipan » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:42 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:Read this. If the Tobacco industry did not have a 40 year-long history of denying the links between tobacco and lung cancer; if they were not on record as having deliberately causing doubt and controversy in public when internally they already knew of the link; if they had not deliberately set out to market cigarettes to children, then I would have some sympathy for their case. As it is, I freely admit to being biased and partisan. If I had my way I would impose the same conditions on sale as is about to happen in the UK, a prohibition on the display of tobacco products at the point of sale, to go along with the ban on tobacco advertising. I would go further; Generic packaging only, with white boxes and helvetica 12 point text with no text allowed apart from the manufacturer/brand and type of cigarette.

Yes, the tobacco industry may argue that we are infringing their freedom of speech, but they are on record as having taken that right and used it to deliberately obfuscate, deny and outright lie about the health risks of their product. Do I belive in freedom of speech for the individual? Absolutely. Do I believe in freedom of speech for the malevolent corporation? Absolutely not.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Remember when it came out that yellow #5(IIRC) caused decreased sperm count, etc, and many links to Mt Dew were made? Did Mt Dew sales fall off a cliff? No.

That's a myth. Which is probably why it wasn't treated with the same gravity as "smoking causes cancer."


Good to know...but even for legitimate cases, like obesity...it's pretty obvious that awareness has diminishing returns, and is not solely sufficient to fix a health problem.

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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:07 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Remember when it came out that yellow #5(IIRC) caused decreased sperm count, etc, and many links to Mt Dew were made? Did Mt Dew sales fall off a cliff? No.

That's a myth. Which is probably why it wasn't treated with the same gravity as "smoking causes cancer."

What are you talking about, it was widely reported in the Journal of the Academy of School Bus Route #485.
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Re: FDA tobacco warning law struck down by appellate court

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:but the studies they cited all only showed that they were effective in making smokers more aware of the message, and the government never bothered to show whether graphic warnings make people quit.


So? The goal isn't to shape people's behaviour toward a certain choice that we've decided is best, it's to make sure that they act with awareness of the risks. If everyone is intimately aware of the risks of smoking but they do it anyway...well, that's freedom. That's choice. That's the american way. Here you should imagine a flag waving patriotically behind me and an eagle flying catastrophically into a car door.

The end goal isn't necessarily to make everyone (or anyone) quit smoking, it's essentially to enforce product safety notices. The goal of listing all the side effects on the side of a bottle of viagra isn't to make people quit using viagra, either, it's so that people go into it aware of the risks (or don't go into it, if they deem the risks too high).

So if everyone is acutely aware of the risks, the government's job is done. You're essentially faulting them for not proving something that was never relevant to their goal.
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