Starting today, June 22 cigarettes can no longer be labeled as “mild,” “low tar” or “light.” My mother is a smoker, and was the first to tell me of this. In her words, this was done because, “some people are stupid enough to think smoking is healthy.”
How will cigarette manufacturers get around this? Well, they already are. Two prime examples are Salem and Marlboro. Both of these companies have omitted the words “light” or “mild” in favor of changing the design colors of the package. Now, Salem cigarettes are in varying shades of green, and Marlboro has switched to a gold color for their Marlboro Lights.
So, how will these new design efforts affect smokers? Are smokers going to buy into the new color-coded scheme? There is documentation that the light, mild and low tar varieties have the same “disease and death rate,” accoring to RADIOIOWA. Does anyone find it odd that we now measure the disease and death rates of a product that is legally available in every state? Maybe it’s just me.
I have many friends and family members who smoke. I can now recall a few of them saying, “Oh well, I smoke lights so I won’t get cancer.” Did they really believe this? Of course they did, and I did too. At least I did until now. I am impressed; quite a clever scheme on the part of big tobacco.
In my opinion, this will not make a lot of difference at all. The words mild and light simply referred to the strength in flavor. For example, a person can buy a can of full-strength coffee, or a can of mild coffee. The taste will be slightly different, but it is still coffee.
I salute the FDA on this action. Education, no matter how late, is always welcome.
Poison is poison, now you simply have to choose between what pretty wrapper you want.