Grisly labels not so scary for cigarette sales

RICHMOND, VA (AP) - U.S. tobacco companies' sales aren't expected to go up in smoke despite new grisly warning labels set to appear on cigarettes packs next year.

An analysis by research firm IBISWorld estimates the labels will cause a decline of less than one percent in overall U.S. tobacco revenues in 2013.

An average person smokes fifteen cigarettes a day at a cost of about $1,500 per year, translating to $300 million in lost sales. That's only a fraction of the estimated $43.8 billion in revenue in 2013.

The labels required by federal law will take up half of the pack by the fall of 2012 and include images of diseased lungs and a smoker's corpse.

Cigarette makers are concerned by marketing restrictions imposed by the labels, and some are suing over them.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – New graphic warnings being added to your pack of cigarettes are aimed at making you break the habit.  Tuesday morning the Food and Drug Administration unveiled the nine new labels. 

"I think people need an image you know a picture is going to stick in their minds," said Kelly Harmon.

Harmon is glad to see the changes added to warnings on cigarettes.

"When you see those images on that pack you're going to remember it," said Harmon.

Her mom Barbara Anglin has been a smoker since she was 12-years-old.  She said they didn't know about all the dangers back then and now quitting is nearly impossible.

"It's very hard to quit.  You smoke for fifty years and it's very hard," said Anglin.

"Recently I had my mom go through some things in the hospital.  What it's doing to the lungs, you don't realize that.  You think this can't hurt me but it does," said Harmon.

Harmon is a nurse who has seen the adverse affects of smoking.  Seeing the new warning labels is causing her to hope others will never start what she says is a deadly habit.

"When you showed those pictures I was so excited because it gave me chills it's amazing," said Harmon.

The different pictures have everything from a man wearing an "I quit" t-shirt along with the warning to another man smoking with smoke coming out a hole in his throat with the warning "cigarettes are addictive".  Harmon said all of the images get your attention.

"It is definitely going to be a reminder those pictures are going to stick in their heads every time.  I think it could be a first step," said Harmon.

Anglin said if warnings like these had been on cigarettes she may never have started.

"You can wind up a lot wealthier and a lot healthier live a lot longer," said Anglin.

These changes are part of a law passed back in 2009.  They have to be implemented by the fall of 2012.

There is a smoking cessation class at St. Bernards that should get started in August.  For more information call the community educator at 870-336-4912. 

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.