Blowing smoke up someone’s ass

Five tobacco companies in America are suing the FDA over a new law that forces them to slap graphic warnings on their cigarette packages. The companies state this law is in direct contraction of their first amendment right to free speech because, “they can’t require a cigarette pack to serve as a mini-billboard for the government’s anti-smoking campaign” [Floyd Abrams, lawyer]. The opposing side states that “the new labels could deter young people from starting to smoke and give adult smokers a new incentive to quit.” [Kathleen Sebelius, Health Secretary]. The question I had was: do these labels have proven, scientific efficacy in stopping smoking or detering it? I set to find just what the link is between pictures of gnarly medical abominations and people not sucking on a stick all day.

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