New warning labels for non-cigarette products

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The Food and Drug Administration has released images of new warning labels that must be on cigarette packs and advertisements by October 2012. The FDA, in full bureaucratic fantasy mode, says the new warnings will “have a significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy, and lower medical costs.” I’ll wait till you’re finished laughing ... OK, ready to continue? Here are my two favorites FDA warnings so far:

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The new warnings are mostly pretty gross, but then cigarettes can do pretty gross things to you. At the same time, how much farther can the FDA go in trying to scare people out of buying smokes? Wouldn’t it be more effective to just ban all advertising and corporate sponsorships by tobacco companies? The way Americans react to commercials like Pavlov’s dogs to a dinner bell, I bet smoking would decline by over 50 percent within a couple of years if they never saw smoking glorified. The French have had gross-out photos on cigarettes for awhile now, and here’s what happened: Someone came up with slipcases that people slip their cigarette packs into so they don’t have to look at the gross-out images. By the way, feel free to consider this a surefire tip for any would-be American entrepreneurs out there.

As long as the feds are creating images to plaster on cigarette packs, however, why not go all out, and require warning labels on other potentially harmful products that are used frequently as a matter of personal choice? Here are some ideas for really ramping up the government’s health-scare tactics:

Every automobile must have this warning placed prominently on a door or trunk lid:

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  • Driving an automobile can result in fatal crashes.

All fast food bags must display the following warning, which must cover one whole side of the bag:

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  • Eating too much fast food can result in morbid obesity and belly fat hanging below your chair seat.

Every bottle or can containing an alcoholic beverage must feature the following:

Consumption of alcoholic beverages may cause brain damage, and falling asleep in really uncomfortable positions.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages may cause brain damage, and falling asleep in really uncomfortable positions.

All new cellphones must show the following warning:

Recent studies show that excessive cellphone use can cause brain cancer.
  • Recent studies show that excessive cellphone use can cause brain cancer.

Any new iPods or similar devices must be covered with the following warning:

Caution: Walking, running or jogging while using this product can result in being run over by a car, truck or bus.
  • Caution: Walking, running or jogging while using this product can result in being run over by a car, truck or bus.

And speaking of jogging, all new running shoes must feature this warning on the back of each shoe:

WARNING: A  jogger in Hilton Head, S.C. was hit by a plane, which was trying to land on the beach.
  • WARNING: A jogger in Hilton Head, S.C. was hit by a plane, which was trying to land on the beach.

And finally, at least a fourth of the space on every envelope sold in the U.S. must contain this warning:

Licking of envelope glue can result in pretty nasty paper cuts.
  • Licking of envelope glue can result in pretty nasty paper cuts.

There, now, that should cover it. Feel safer now?

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