Somewhere, Senator Ortolan Finistirre is Smiling

Ok let’s get this out of the way…if you’ve never seen the movie Thank You for Smoking then the title of this post surely makes no sense to you. My apologies.

Apparently the warning labels on cigarette packages are about to get a lot more graphic. Starting in 2012 we’ll be seeing packaging with graphic images of just about anything you could dream up in an attempt to scare people into not smoking. Maybe it will be some rotted teeth, maybe a blackened lung, a picture of a smoker with three heads…you get the point.

For the record I don’t smoke. Do I think it’s ‘bad’ for people’s health if they smoke? I’m not a doctor nor have I personally conducted any studies, so it’s hard for me to say. If I had to speculate I’d say yes. But it’s a free country. Do as you wish. Judgment-free zone here. Besides I eat plenty of stuff that is probably equally as bad for me as smoking would be so I’m quite certain I don’t have much room to talk when it comes to healthiness.

Anyway this whole label thing instantly made me think of that movie and the battle between the fictitious Senator and the fictitious ‘Big Tobacco’ spokesman, Nick Naylor. Great stuff – and pretty much exactly what is being planned here, except in the movie it was a skull and crossbones that was being proposed for cigarette packages.

I’ll admit…that movie (and perhaps more so a previous job of mine where I, too, was representing a rather unpopular entity) made an impact on my thinking when it comes to stuff like this. Not necessarily from the health standpoint but certainly from the ‘other argument’ standpoint. Life is interesting in that it always seems to provide experiences, expected or unexpected, that enable you to see all sides of a story.

So back to the topic of the new labels. Is it good to have these types of labels on cigarette packages or is it excessive? Does the message need to get out more or is this being too controlling of private companies? Should people be able to figure it out on their own or is the government obligated to step in to protect people from the dangers of smoking? Are these labels necessary or unnecessary? Good or bad?? Sounds like it’s time for another poll…

…and please feel free to comment further on this issue or any of these random questions I throw at ya on here. Keep scrolling down…the ‘Leave a Reply’ box is just below the post. So go for it – type until your heart’s content.


2 thoughts on “Somewhere, Senator Ortolan Finistirre is Smiling”

  1. As a smoker who’s always trying to quit–and I’ll never stop trying–I like the idea of the graphic packaging. They are so awful I know I’ll be embarrassed to buy them. Like I really need to advertise to the world I’m slowly trying to kill myself. Smokers are stigmatized enough. So maybe, just maybe, they’ll be an added push to quit. I know they will. I fear public ridicule more than anything else.

    Loved the movie too btw.



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