News & AnalysisSocial Psychology

Antismoking Drive Tries Cigarette Ads, in Reverse

Science  01 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6038, pp. 23-24
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6038.23

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As required by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, graphic new health warning labels will appear on all cigarette packages sold in the United States by September 2012. Graphic labels seem to have been quite effective in other nations, many of which use images that are far gorier than those chosen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But some psychologists argue that the new labels will likely become a joke to the would-be quitters that FDA hopes to reach and white noise in a society accustomed to blood and gore on TV.