Tone Down These Gross Anti-Smoking Ads

Making smokers into lepers won't improve public health
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 6:26 PM CDT
Tone Done These Gross Anti-Smoking Ads
This undated image provided by the Australia's Department of Health and Aging shows a mock-up of a cigarette package with the banding removed and graphic health warnings displayed.   (AP Photo/Dept. of Health and Aging)

Reports that Australia plans to strip cigarette packages of company logos and instead feature graphic images of diseased lungs and assorted organs has Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon less than thrilled. These smug, "scoldy" campaigns are getting out of control—what's next, "photos of blocked arteries on every bucket of KFC"? And, really, do we all need to see images of gangrenous toes every time we ride the subway or buy a candy bar?

"I'm not sure that making smokers feel like lepers is an effective strategy," she writes. "For those of us who don't smoke, those aggressive, in-your-face images are just another uninvited, flat-out-gross nuisance. Kind of like cigarettes themselves. And at this pace, it won't be long before those warning labels have to come with warning labels." (Read more cigarettes stories.)

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