Blog | Thursday, August 18, 2011

QD: News Every Day--Smoking in front of the television must be really bad


Four major cigarette manufacturers are debuted the new warning labels in June, and mandated that they be in place by September 2012. The lawsuit seeks to stop that, saying that the labels "convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products," the lawsuit reports.

It does exactly that, and the Department of Health and Human Services was upfront about that when it debuted the new packaging.

The companies continued that the warnings go beyond information on the decision to smoke, and "force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands," reports the Associated Press.

Again, HHS was quite clear about that, to be honest.

The lawsuit alleges that one warning label include the picture of a corpse with a scar running the length of its chest. But, they say, the corpse is actually an actor with a fake scar. (I'd hope so. This is a warning label, not a snuff film.)

And, the lawsuit says, the new labels will cost millions of dollars to produce. Um, yep, that's true.

Next, televisions will need warning labels. An hour of viewing time reduces life expectancy by 22 minutes, concluded an Australian study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The authors used data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, a national population-based observational survey, to build a life table model that incorporated reported mortality risk associated with television time.

Across Australia, the amount of TV viewed in 2008 reduced life expectancy at birth by 1.8 years (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 8.4 days to 3.7 years) for men and 1.5 years (95% UI: 6.8 days to 3.1 years) for women. Compared to those who didn't watch any television, those who average six hours a day watching television can expect to live 4.8 fewer years (95% UI: 11 days to 10.4 years). That's of 21.8 minutes (95% UI: 0.3 to 44.7) less life expectancy for every hour of television after the age of 25.