A picture is worth a thousand words
On March 1, a federal judge ruled that requiring gruesome images to accompany warning labels on cigarette cartons was in violation of the First Amendment. He justified this by saying that the companies have the right to market their product however they choose, even if that means printing the boxes with rainbows and butterflies.
This should come as no surprise. The propaganda of the advertising industry is no secret (let us not forget about the highly evolved, leather jacket-clad camel).
The main question that arises is whether or not the disturbingly honest images would even make a difference? Nearly one seventh of the world’s population are smokers so who’s to say this advertising scheme would really curve their addiction? The bottom line is that if you’re addicted it’s going to take more than the box being adorned with a smoke-blackened lung to kick the habit.
But what about the youth who have yet to pick it up?
About twenty percent of American teens smoke, with roughly three-thousand teens starting every day, and of those three-thousand , one-thousand will die as a result of it. One-third.
Regardless of health education in schools and those stark “Tobacco Stops With Me” commercials, not even the law (which states you must be a legal adult to purchase cigarettes) is stopping these kids, who are usually addicted by the time they are sixteen.
There is also the matter of where exactly this issue would end?
Should companies who sell fattening foods be forced to put pictures of cellulite-pocked thighs on their products?
A line has yet to be drawn as to how far this bill could take the issue of government enforced advertising that both strips a company of its right to free speech and yet has the potential to save lives.