Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Scary or Campy? The FDA's New Cigarette Warnings
Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 11:16 AM
The FDA has proposed making cigarette smoking an even more terrifying experience: they want smokers to confront, in visual form, the consequences of long-term addiction. If a proposal is passed, cigarette manufacturers would be required to put on the packs not just the classic verbal warning, but graphic images like the ones below.
Mayor Bloomberg, noted opponent of smoking, had this to say: "The FDA's proposal to put far tougher – or, to put it another way, accurate – warnings on cigarette packages is a bold step by the Obama Administration to improve our nation’s health and help save countless lives."
But how good are the images themselves? I'd say that in terms of possible effectiveness, they're a mixed bag. While the ones that show actual cancer spots on the lips, and someone who is presumably in a hospital bed, dying, are pretty harrowing, others look like they've been lifted from a comic book. As if they'd become collector's items rather than grotesque reminders of what smoking can do to a person.
Check out the images below -- what do you think?