ATLANTA — New graphic new cigarette warning labels may already be having the desired effect: Calls to a national smoker's quit line more than doubled the day they hit the media.
The warning labels won't appear on cigarettes until next year, but were unveiled to the media last week.
Calls to the national 1-800-QUIT-NOW smoking cessation line surpassed 4,800 that Tuesday and 3,200 the next day. A typical Tuesday or Wednesday in June sees about 2,000 calls.
The new labels replace the traditional small, white "Surgeon General's Warning" text strips with graphic photograph warnings that cover the entire top half of each cigarette pack.
Versions of the new labels include depictions of diseased lungs and rotting teeth and gums. They also carry the 1-800-QUIT-NOW number, which the old labels did not.
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