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Boston Smokers Have Mixed Feelings On New Cigarette Labels

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The federal government is planning to require new larger, graphic cigarette warning labels.

The images would include corpses, cancer patients and diseased lungs.

The proposed warning labels would take up half of each pack of cigarettes sold in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration was given authority last year to oversee tobacco products including how they’re marketed.

What do smokers in Boston think?

A woman in South Boston tells WBZ News Radio, “I think they (the images) are over the top. I think anyone who smokes knows the dangers. I’m a smoker, I know, I’ve seen the pictures. I don’t think I need to see them every day.”

Other people tell WBZ they don’t mind the explicitness of the labels but they don’t think they’ll be much of a deterrent. One person simply stated, “People know what they’re doing.”

WBZ’s Karen Twomey talked to smokers and non-smokers in South Boston.

Do you think the proposed graphic warning labels on cigarettes will get people to stop smoking?
(polls)

WBZ’s Jon Keller shares his thoughts about the FDA’s plan:

Click here to read more about the FDA’s plans.

The share of Americans who smoke has fallen dramatically since 1970, from nearly 40 percent to about 20 percent, but the rate has stalled since about 2004. About 46 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes.

In the same period, the average cost per pack has gone from 38 cents to $5.33. Much of those increases are from state and federal taxes.

It’s unclear why declines in smoking have stalled. Some experts have cited tobacco company discounts or lack of funding for programs to discourage smoking or to help smokers quit.

WBZ News Radio’s Karen Twomey contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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