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Oral Cancer Warnings on New Cigarette Packs

The FDA has included a warning about oral cancer in its collection of images that will now be required on all cigarette packs, cartons and ads. The image selected is described as “cancerous lesion on lip” but also includes a set of severely damaged teeth.

The images used in the campaign were all viewed by focus groups. This image was selected because it scored high on the emotional reaction scales and a “difficult to look at” measurement. It is also hoped that this image could be especially effective with young people and teens because it illustrates how smoking can affect their appearance. It seems that understanding that smoking causes long term health problems, including death, isn’t enough to make an impact on young people. However, they do react to the knowledge that smoking can cause short-term damage to their looks, including their lips and teeth!

The new packaging is required no later than September 22, 2012 and includes the National Tobacco Quitline number 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

If you are a smoker it is extremely important to maintain regular dental visits. Because smokers have such a high rate of periodontal disease regular professional cleanings are necessary. A part of each dental hygiene visit is also a visual cancer screening which looks for unusual lesions in the oral cavity. A full oral cancer screening should be done annually for anyone who uses tobacco products.


Please contact our Columbus area office at 614-476-6696 to schedule your appointment today.