This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
It’s one of the most addictive and lethal drugs that humans abuse, killing far more Americans every year – 440,000-plus – than all illegal drugs combined.
Tobacco – specifically in its most popular delivery system, cigarettes – also plays a major role in rising health costs. Lawmakers and health officials know they can’t outlaw tobacco; about 20 percent of American adults are addicted to it. So they’re trying to do the next best thing: Prevent as many young people from getting hooked and persuade as many smokers as they can to stop.
The best way to do that is to make cigarettes expensive; smoking rates drop a little every time cigarette taxes go up. But another strategy has been found effective in more than 20 countries: graphic health warnings on cigarette packages – ones so big, colorful and disturbing that smokers can’t miss them. Read more »