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U.S. gov gets tough on cigarette labels, but not really

Halloween, fun!
Halloween, fun!

When it comes to advertising that is geared to deter someone from something, the most effective -- and most often chosen -- tactic is to use images that scare the shit out of any would-be buyers or doers. This is often seen in political ads and AIDS awareness ads, and now it is finding its way onto U.S. cigarette labels. But the new government-mandated label -- ostensibly to get people to quit smoking -- for distribution in the United States seems a little tame compared to the labels required on some other countries' packaging.

Here are some of the proposed new US labels, which will cover nearly 50 percent of the package:

But comics are awesome!
But comics are awesome!
One of the scariest ones. Still not that scary.
One of the scariest ones. Still not that scary.
This is actually kind of badass looking.
This is actually kind of badass looking.
Cool design, bro.
Cool design, bro.

But sweet info-graphic telling you you're going to die is not nearly as effective as just a plain old photo of a rotting corpse. In that way, the U.S. could take a hint from Brazil or Iran, countries that aren't afraid to put legit, nasty-ass dying people on their labels. Let's run down a comparison:

Brazil

Remember guys, impotencia gets a big thumbs down from the ladies.
Remember guys, impotencia gets a big thumbs down from the ladies.

Dead babies in ash trays? Dudes with their heads gashed open? Gangrene feet with missing toes? Step it up, American politicians, you're making us look all timid. Our soccer skills already don't help.

USA

He's fine. Look, it'll make him tough, not like those pansy Brazilians.
He's fine. Look, it'll make him tough, not like those pansy Brazilians.

Does seeing this adorable kid next to some smoke just tear you up inside? Make you want to join the Peace Corp? I sense an ulterior motive.

Iran

They got something right.
They got something right.

Be glad you don't live in Iran, because it looks like cigarettes do much more damage over there than they do here.

USA

Ouch.
Ouch.

Really, America? That's all you've got? That's poppycock compared to what New Zealand is bringing.

New Zealand

New Zealand, taking it to the next level with the bleeding brain.
New Zealand, taking it to the next level with the bleeding brain.

Yikes. There you have it. Our government officials think we're all a bunch of sissies and can't handle the gore. Or perhaps they don't want too many people to quit smoking, what with all the loss in tax revenue. Either way, the more-than-likely innocuous new U.S. labels, whichever they choose, will soon be plastered all over a cancer-stick pack near you -- if you're into that sort of thing.


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