Wait, what?? Feds want corpses? Let me rewind for a minute… I always fact check anything I post here for you to read. Opinions are always opinions and that of the author, but statistics and things I double or triple check. So I read an article about how funding for programs to prevent people from smoking had some huge budget cuts again this year, more cuts than they had last year. As we spend less on these programs, more people pick up smoking and this will raise premiums for us all under the new program. So as I was looking into this information, I found a very graphic news story with the headline you see above – “Feds Want Corpses, Rotting Teeth on Cigarette Packages.”
Let me make sure I understand this – the tobacco companies are being forced to pay the government money each year for the cessation programs after the legal settlement of 1998. HOWEVER, nothing says the money has to be spent on these programs. Only that the money has to be paid. So the government still collects a lot and simply spends less and less of it each year on the cessation programs. And NOW the FDA wants the tobacco companies to pay more money by forcing them to put graphic images directly on the package? I don’t smoke, and I’m very much against the tobacco companies advertising in ways that attract children. I was very happy to see Joe Camel off of the TV, as he should never have been aired during the cartoon hour when children are watching in the first place, but at an adult appropriate time just like any ad with a half-dressed woman. BUT… if the government is taking money from these companies and not spending it on the cessation programs it was intended for, or putting to towards health care where it needs to go, I don’t see any reason to force a company to spend more money on the packaging of its product. Tobacco companies are already paying for cessation programs. Forcing graphic images on the wrapper is just going to be like making them pay for the same thing twice.
How about putting that cessation program money to good use first? Medicare ends up paying a lot for the medical care of smokers. And now, with the health reform bill limiting insurance companies from excluding pre-existing conditions and forcing a balancing out of premiums so that certain groups can’t be charged more, we’re all going to have to start paying a lot more to cover the medical expenses of smokers. Use the money you have first, for what it was intended for, before you try to require any more from a private company like that. Is this what it is going to be like for private insurance companies trying to work with the government to provide health care?
The article about the “Feds wanting corpses” – http://www.aolnews.com/health/article/fda-proposes-graphic-labels-for-cigarettes-to-scare-smokers-into-quitting/19711152?icid=maing%7Cmain5%7C1%7Clink2%7C24574
The article about the drop in spending on smoking cessation – http://www.medindia.net/news/Smoking-Cessation-Programs-in-US-Affected-by-Recession-hit-Economy-76523-1.htm
What the FDA has to say about all of this: http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/CigaretteProductWarningLabels/ucm2024177.htm