East Texans feel FDA proposal won't curb smoking

Photo courtesy FDA
Photo courtesy FDA
Photo courtesy FDA
Photo courtesy FDA

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - If the threat of lung cancer is not enough to scare you out of lighting up, the FDA wants to make warning labels on cigarettes a little more graphic.

"I know it's killing me, I mean I know that, but I'm going to smoke if I want to smoke," said Smokey T's owner, Darlene Crawford.

"Will it accomplish everything that the FDA wants to as far as reducing the rate of smoking?" asked Dr. Sid Roberts. "No. It's absolutely worth it to try."

Roberts looks at images of lung cancer in one of his patients.

"Eighty, 85 percent of people who get lung cancer die from lung cancer," Roberts said.

Roberts says 98 percent of the lung cancer patients he sees in Lufkin smoke or have smoked in the past. It may not be the only factor, but smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. And he says if it takes graphic labels like a rotting mouth, it's worth it.

"Sometimes it takes a very graphic image for people to respond," Roberts said.

Some East Texans took a look at images that could grace future packs.

"This is not going to stop anybody from smoking cigarettes, not at all," Chris Wagner said. "I mean, there's not a smoker I know out there that doesn't know that we can look like this, but this is something that you don't want to see stuck in your face everyday."

"I wouldn't want my kids to walk into a store and see something like that on a cigarette pack," Crawford said. "If they don't want them to smoke, then they need to do something about the age to buy cigarettes."

"The one about the little baby, that's severe, that's very severe," Leonard Foster said. "That would make me have a change of heart or a change of mind."

Crawford has smoked for 30 years.

"Education is what's going to make them put it down, and I don't mean education on a cigarette pack," Crawford said.

"I think the pictures may change some people's minds, but I think that it's not the government's place to try to tell people what to do," Leonard Foster, a non-smoker, said.

But as Roberts sees pictures of real patients, he says the old labels are getting too easy to ignore.

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