NYC's anti-smoking weapon: gross matchbook images

NEW YORK (AP) -- Before New Yorkers light up, the city health department wants them to have a look at the ravaged lungs, rotting gums and large tumors smoking can cause.

Graphic images of such health problems are printed on a new line of matchbooks issued by the health department. Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden says they're designed to get New Yorkers to think twice about smoking.

The matchbook images are coupled with the words "Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive." The matchbooks are available free at 132 cigarette retailers around the city.

Assistant Commissioner Sarah Perl says the effort is a counterpoint to the billions of dollars the tobacco industry spends promoting smoking with images of healthy, beautiful people.


(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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