Regarding the new, graphic cigarette warnings, it seems that nobody inhabiting the twisted halls of the Nanny State in Washington is thinking on all three cylinders.
First, let’s talk about young people. If you’ve ever experienced the pleasure and curse of being an adolescent boy, you know that, for this cohort, there is some inexplicable attraction to things that would cause a normal human being to retch. The more disgusting, the better, because said adolescent can show whatever it is to his friends and multiply the enjoyment. If he has a kid sister, he can use it to make her scream.
So, far from putting young males off cigarettes, the photos of human husks blowing smoke through tracheotomy holes or cadavers in morgues might actually spur them to buy more cigarettes in order to augment their collections.
Young girls, on the other hand, will simply buy a specially designed cutesy container, emblazoned with the name of some clothing retailer or studded with rhinestones, to slip over the pack of butts so they don’t have to spoil the experience of looking incredibly cool in front of their peers.
Older people are already hooked, and wouldn’t quit even if the packs came embedded with a chip that shouted, “YOU’RE GONNA DIE!” every time they pulled out a snipe. They already know smoking is bad for them, and being repeatedly reminded of that will just cause them to dig in their heels.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to figure this out. There are probably tobacco company shrinks who reached these conclusions years ago. In a reverse twist, they may feel they're throwing a bone to the smug anti-smoking forces who, thinking themselves victorious, will lay off for a while.