The Effectiveness of Warning Labels

In the past, consumers have had an issue with the food industry because of secretiveness. Although the people have demanded to be let in on what they’re consuming, I don’t think that knowing will be as helpful as they might think. There are many products that have very clear warning labels on them that seem to have no effect on people’s choice to purchase. The public doesn’t actually want to be properly informed about the things they buy because if they did, the warnings labels on simple things like cigarettes and alcohol would have a bigger impact on their decision to purchase.

The tobacco industry was a very successful and fast growing industry early on. It all started after it became popular in America when the Spanish arrived. Over the years there has been a decline in the number of consumers. This all started in the mid-1900s when people were informed of some of the negatives effects on the body. An article from the Washington Post written by Brady Dennis tells us the following:

Half a century ago, more than two of every five adults were smokers. But that has fallen steadily over time. From 2005 to 2014, the adult smoking rate declined from 20.9 percent to 16.8 percent. Public health officials are hoping to drive that rate below 12 percent by 2020. (Dennis)

Even though adults keep choosing to stop smoking, there is still that 17 percent of them in the United States who smoke. Consumers are well-informed of the effects of smoking and continue to harm themselves. It seems that they care more about feeding their inner vices.

Like cigarettes, alcohol is another one of the things that warns people of its effects and contents. Alcohol overloads your liver and gets into your bloodstream; it affects your entire body while cigarettes just affects one part. Despite the fact that alcohol consumption has caused problems within families and their household, in society, and to the consumer, it is still a growing industry that I don’t think will ever have to worry about bringing in money.

Although tobacco and alcohol are not as essential as food, they all do have one thing in common: in some form, they are all going into consumers’ body. There is an issue at hand with the amount of information being given to consumers about what is in their food and how it is getting to their plates, but I don’t think that’s really the issue. I think the problem is that a lot of Americans live in the moment and don’t value the long-term effects of things they are consuming. I don’t believe very many people will change the things they buy if more information is given. Too many of us are more concerned with what we like and how easy it is to get it rather than what is best.


Merypaula Lara

Dennis, Brady. “Who Still Smokes in the United States – in Seven Simple Charts.” 12 Nov. 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com

“How To Stop Junk Food Cravings?” Gymaholic. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. https://www.gymaholic.co/articles/5-ways-to-stop-junk-food-cravings