It might be said that labels can be a necessary evil. They’re certainly necessary, though, and the folks here at Whitlam Group are proud of the work we’ve done within the labeling industry. Labels that warn you an item you’re holding is fragile, hot, cold or toxic is a must these days. We even touched on a new security label earlier this week since security remains a major issue for businesses these days. But what happens when a label becomes a detriment for your business, yet a necessity for anybody buying it? That would constitute a necessary evil and Tuesday’s news that the FDA released nine brand new warning labels to be placed on cigarettes on the dangers of smoking is sure to catch some attention.
One of our top hitting blog posts has been about Michigan’s contentious Non-Smoking law that went into effect in 2010. Considering the attention it continues to attract, we can only wonder about the implications of the new FDA labels. Also, there hasn’t been a change to cigarette labels of this magnitude in 25 years. But what exactly is the change?
First of all, they’re more graphic than we’re used to seeing and that’s obviously the point. With cancer continuing to be at an all time high and tobacco responsible for about 443,000 deaths in the United States each year, a change needed to be made. Each label also contains the hotline number for an organization to help you quit smoking. As for the labels themselves, they’ll take up the top half of a pack, prompting a lawsuit by some of the tobacco companies who believe that the new labels would make their brand name–on the lower half of the pack–“difficult, if not impossible, to see.”
The real question here, at least for us, is how effective will these new labels be? Are images of healthy/diseases lungs, rotten teeth, a parent holding a child with a smoke cloud nearby or cancer lesions going to get people to think twice and quit? Will it simply make them defiant and angry? Either way, the new labels will get a reaction.
What do you think of the new labels? Do they go too far? Not far enough? Would you have done anything different? This is going to be a hot topic for a while, so we’re eager to hear your thoughts.