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Will Graphic Cigarette Labels Guarantee Smokers Quit?


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Will Graphic Cigarette Labels Guarantee Smokers Quit?

Following in the footsteps of countries such as Canada and Australia, the U.S. government is planning to implement graphic labels on cigarette packages. According to The Miami Herald, the goal is to urge 43 million to 50 million Americans to quit smoking. Yet, the effort has many critics.

Some experts claim that the chances of the labeling actually impacting smokers to the point of quitting are unlikely. Forty percent of smokers try to quit every year, yet less than 10 percent are successful in the endeavor, writes Ana Veciana Suaraz in an article for the paper.

"Despite our best efforts — smoking bans, tobacco taxes and educational campaigns — the truly addicted keep puffing away even as their breath stinks, their teeth get stained and society ostracizes them," Suarez writes. "Sure, the percentage of smokers has dropped from 42 percent of the population to 20 percent in half a century, but that latter figure has held steady since 2003."

Additionally, the graphic labels are expected to launch a heated controversy from cigarette manufacturers. A similar impact was felt in Australia when the government stripped all trademarks, icons and logos from cigarette labels. Tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris is currently locked in a legal battle with the country.