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Frightening images on packs should not be legal

The federal court in Washington blocked the decision of the Office of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) United States government, requiring the tobacco companies put on cigarette packs, such as Winston cigarettes, images that show the negative effects of smoking.

The presiding at the trial the judge held that the requirement of the federal government is illegal, since it contradicts the amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

The court agreed with the arguments of tobacco companies, who believed that, unlike the labels placed on packages of factual information, which tells about the dangers of smoking, images of a suggestion to the fear of smoking, appealing to human emotions. In addition, the placement of images affects the design of packages and brand awareness.

The judge also noted that the government has other features that allow combat smoking, including, in particular, increasing taxes on buying cigarettes, tobacco advertising holding companies, getting cigarettes online and prevention of smoking among minors.

FDA ordered tobacco companies to print frightening images on cigarette packs in June 2011. Among approved by the Office of the nine pictures were images of diseased lungs, rotten teeth, dissected human corpses, as well as other pictures, which tell about the dangers of smoking. The images were to occupy half of the front and back of the pack.

Moreover, the FDA didnít consider that the frightening pictures on the horror movies posters attract attention, and the pictures do not cause the leak of audience, including younger teenagers. So, the effect of scaring pictures on the cigarettes packs might could be reverse from the expected one.

Published: Friday, March 30, 2012