In a bid to deal with the rising tobacco related death cases, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has decided to print shocking graphics depicting the bad consequences of smoking. The graphics will show victims such as a miserable looking lung cancer patient, a dead body in a morgue, and a baby on a respirator (victims of passive smoking).
FDA officials say the graphics will appear on the cover of a cigarette packet and hopefully shock people and help them quit smoking. This is part of a new "comprehensive tobacco control strategy", officials informed. The graphics will be supported with strong statements such as "Smoking Will Kill You."

“FDA takes a crucial step toward reducing the tremendous toll of illness and death caused by tobacco use by proposing to dramatically change how cigarette packages and advertising look in this country. When the rule takes effect, the health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr Margaret A. Hamburg said. "This is a concrete example of how FDA's new responsibilities for tobacco product regulation can benefit the public's health."

The FDA will select nine “graphic and text warning statements” that will be printed prominently on cigarette packets as well as advertisements by June 22, 2011. Cigarette packets with warning will start selling in U.S. market by Oct. 22, 2012.

"We want people to look on the side of cigarette packages and notice that cigarettes cause heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and a host of other problems. We also want them to know that light smoking is not acceptable. Even one to three cigarettes a day triple the risk of heart disease," Dr Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said.

Tobacco is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the U.S. claiming 1200 lives every day.

Applauding this move Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association said "With today's publication of the Food and Drug Administration's proposed rule to modify required warning labels on cigarette packages and advertisements, we hope more Americans will resist the temptations of tobacco use and participate in evidence-based smoking cessation programs that include counseling and pharmacotherapy.”

The countries which have already adopted similar strategies to fight tobacco related deaths over the last decade are countries such as Canada, India, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Iran and Singapore.