smoking kills

As current and former American smokers know, the side (or top or bottom or whatever) of every pack says something like “The surgeon general has determined that blah blah blah” in large block letters that, Edmund Tufte argues, are designed to be as un-reader friendly as possible. By contrast, the packs for sale here say “Smoking Kills” on the front in letters that are large enough and clear enough to read from six feet away. Another message is “Smoking seriously harms you and others around you.” No beating around the bush.

It has been argued, however, that such warnings are like catnip to a certain demographic that wants to be seen as rebellious and counter-cultural, i.e. young people. When was the last time young people turned something down simply because someone told them it was dangerous?

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