New cigarette warning labels show graphic effects of smoking

new cigarette warning labels follow euro example

The FDA is heading in the direction of European countries with new cigarette warning labels that bluntly depict the effects of smoking. Image: CC andybullock77/Flickr

Cigarette warning labels have been printed on packs of smokes for 25 years — and smokers generally ignore them. The Food and Drug Administration is proposing new, larger cigarette warning labels that use graphic shock tactics to discourage people from smoking. The new cigarette warning labels are a result of congressional legislation that granted the FDA authority to regulate tobacco as a drug.

New cigarette labels shock and awe

New cigarette warning labels that graphically depict the consequences of smoking have been submitted by the FDA for public comment at The FDA’s proposed cigarette warning labels cover half the surface area of the pack. Some of the labels use pictures illustrating the effects of smoking which include a man smoking from a tracheotomy tube in his throat, a woman smoking with a baby in her lap, a body lying in a morgue and a man wearing a t-shirt with the words “I quit.” More than 30 countries already require large graphic cigarette warning labels that include images of blackened teeth and cancerous mouths and organs.

FDA seeks public comment on cigarette warnings

The Food and Drug Administration, is gathering public comment on 36 proposed cigarette warning labels until Jan. 9. Nine cigarette warnings will be chosen by June 22. Cigarette companies won’t be allowed to sell smokes without the new warning labels after Oct. 22, 2012. In a statement, Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest cigarette manufacturer said it supported the the new warnings. However, Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic, told the New York Times that cigarette makers can be expected to try diluting the message with creative packaging schemes.

Tobacco use statistics

Tobacco use causes 443,000 deaths in the U.S. every year and costs $96 billion, according to the federal government. More than 46 million adults and nearly 3.5 million teenagers smoke. Each day about 1,000 teenagers and children become regular smokers and 4,000 more try smoking for the first time.


New York Times

Washington Post


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