While many countries, such as Brazil and India, have required graphic warning labels for years, the U.S. has only recently enacted laws requiring tobacco companies to include incredibly graphic images paired with large-sized text warnings on the front of all cigarette packs. While many people are debating how effective the ads will really be, given that practically everyone already knows the danger so-called “cancer sticks” present, the tobacco companies are still suing the FDA, claiming the mandatory labels violate their right to free speech.
Of course, when artists like Jamie Jasso make art like this, cigarettes will always seem beautiful and romantic. While I don’t know if Jamie smokes or not, I do know that he grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico before moving to Los Angeles, California and that both areas have a lot of smokers and, up until recently, fairly small warnings on their cigarettes. Would Jamie still have created this artwork if he lived in Brazil or India? It’s hard to say, but it’s an interesting concept to consider.
What do you think of tobacco warning labels? Are they an effective scare tactic or just a redundant way to spread information people already know?