On the premise that we need to be fully informed about risks we’re taking before choosing to engage in behaviors or undertakings, the FDA has announced its required cigarette warning labels on packages will now be larger and more graphic. Really…..this is interesting.

People are still smoking despite the warnings they’ve obviously ignored for decades. The federal health officials behind this new requirement want people who choose smoking to really, really know what the consequences of that choice may be.

In the first major change to cigarette packaging in a quarter-century, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it would require graphic warning labels that cover half a package’s front and rear and the top 20% of all cigarette ads.

The labels will feature either drawings or photos illustrating graphically the dangers associated with smoking and will be accompanied by text stating that smoking is addictive or that it kills. The pictures feature such things as a diseased lung, a corpse and a man smoking a cigarette through a tracheotomy tube…[R]egulators hope they will be sufficiently frightening to keep young people from beginning to smoke and to strengthen the will of those who are attempting to quit.

Imagine if they applied this rationale for informed consent consistently.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....