WASHINGTON – The FDA released an unexpected warning label for cigarette packages, one that reads “Smoking, It Hurts So Good.”
On Tuesday, the FDA went public with ten new labels. The images include a man smoking through the tracheotomy hole in his throat, a child inhaling secondhand smoke, rotting teeth and blackened lungs.
However, one label has garnered the most attention. It shows a smoking cigarette hanging from a sultry set of lips. While all the warnings are intentionally shocking, the positive, or at least sexy, message sent by this scandalous image of smoking has provoked plenty of reaction.
Joanne Witherspoon, founder of the online dating site SmokingPassions.com, loves the new label. “Finally, we see a softer side of the FDA. Smokers are people too. We have families. We have jobs. We know the risks, but it’s a choice. We just want people to respect our choice and let us smoke in peace and quiet. That’s why smokers gravitate to one another. We understand. And we look good doing it.”
Anti-smoking activists are outraged. “The FDA is clearly sending the wrong message with this one. It makes you want to lie around the house naked and smoke cigarette after cigarette. You know, feel the burn.”
Meanwhile, the FDA has a serious publicity crisis on their hands. The new warnings are required under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act from 2009. Cigarette makers must feature the warnings on the top of packages by the end of 2012.