The FDA was given the power to regulate tobacco products last year and they finally went into action. FDA regulators have just come out with 36 new required warning labels for cigarette packages. These warning labels take up one entire side of a pack of cigarettes and are much more graphic than previous warnings.
It is expected these warning labels will curb smoking much like school “no drug zone” signs curbed drug usage – very little. It may prove to be a constructive warning for those who have been in a coma for the past thirty years, but most people already understand that smoking cigarettes is not healthy.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the FDA’s introduction of new labels “…marks an important milestone in protecting our children and the health of the American public”. Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said: “This is the most important change in cigarette health warnings in the history of the United States”. The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Margaret Hamburg, said: “When the rule takes effect, the health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes”.
Such accolades for so little come all too often from government bureaucrats. One can expect that the introduction of 36 new labels will also “create” at least 36 new jobs, not counting the czars needed for oversight. This, in turn, will kill two birds with one
cigarette stone and some government official will probably get a much deserved bonus.
After such decisive action as this, there will be many who will remain cynical about government efficiency. Perhaps a warning label against cynicism can straighten them out.
David J. Hentosh