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Massachusetts stores may be required to post graphic anti-smoking signs

anti-smoking ad.jpg

Would pictures of black lungs, rotting death, and damaged brains with warnings about the dangers of smoking give you pause before reaching for a pack of cigarettes? The Massachusetts' Department of Public Health is hoping the answer is "yes," and is planning to display anti-smoking posters in more than 9,000 stores and gas stations that sell tobacco.

If the department's plan is approved (a vote is set for August), Massachussetts would become the first state to require retailers to display such graphic warnings. The goal, of course, is to reduce tobacco use, which is responsible for about one in five deaths in the U.S. each year.

The Boston Globe reports today:

The signs are modeled on a nothing-left-to-the-imagination campaign in New York City, where signs showing the health effects of smoking began sprouting in 11,500 shops last December. Massachusetts health authorities provided copies of the New York City posters as an illustration of what their campaign will look like.

“If somebody is trying to quit smoking and they go back to the store and they’re tempted - oh, just one pack - we hope this will help them make a different choice,’’ said Lois Keithly, director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program.

Photo by Amy Guth

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