Warning labels may prevent younger generation from smoking

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Warning labels my prevent younger generation from smoking

Kimberly Slaten takes a quick smoke break, a ritual she's practiced for the past seven years.

"Its more or less a bad habit," said Slaten.

A habit that comes with major health risks including lung cancer and heart disease, risks that don't weigh too heavy on the minds of longtime smokers.

"You get the first puff of a cigarette it just relaxes you and calms you down some," said Slaten.

An appeals court in Ohio is looking to make smoking less attractive by upholding parts of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which will require bigger graphic warning labels on cigarette packs.

"Its one component of getting people to stop smoking or to not smoke at all," said Dr. Sid Roberts, Medical Director, Temple Sr. Regional Cancer Center.

It's a small part of a big picture. Smoking comes with major health risks, but can a label properly educate people on the effects of cigarettes?

"We need to provide materials and classes and education for people who do smoke and we need to educate our youth not to smoke. One of the biggest things is simply modeling behavior," said Roberts. While a bolder warning label may catch people's attention, it will take much more to keep people from making their purchase.

"So many people don't understand the true risks involving smoking cigarettes. The biggest thing we need in our community is education," said Maci Herrington, Special Projects Coordinator, Smoke-Free Lufkin Coalition.

While seasoned smokers are set in their ways, a warning could save a new generation.

"Youth that are just dabbling in smoking have an easier time quitting because they just haven't established those long term habits," said Roberts.

"The new generation can rise up and not get in to such a bad habit," said Slaten.

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