The American health care system continues to try and deal with the smoking issue. We have discussed the various types of smoking cessation aids. These methods include nicotine replacement therapy and nicotine receptor blockage, both of which need to be supported with encouragement from physicians and other health care workers. These efforts have brought some success.
In an effort to add some additional incentive for patients to quit smoking a recent study tested the benefits of placing graphic pictures of smoking related diseases on both the front and back of cigarette packs and comparing this with just written warnings. I have seen examples of the pictures and they are indeed graphic. The pictures I saw included dying patients, diseased lungs, diseases of the mouth, and one of a patient smoking and blowing the smoke out of his tracheostomy opening, which was placed there following the removal of his voice box because of cancer.
During the test period the smokers were required to buy cigarettes that contained either written warnings or pictures on the cigarette packs. Researchers wanted to see if the pictures were superior to written warnings in causing the test subjects to stop smoking.
The results of the study did show that more smokers who saw pictures on their cigarette packs tried to quit smoking. I really doubt that anyone would want to continue to smoke after seeing those pictures every time they bought a pack of cigarettes. No one totally quit, but the pictures seemed to provide more incentive to quit.