FDA to Require New, Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes
Article date: June 21, 2011
By Stacy Simon
The Food and Drug Administration has made public new warning labels that it will require on all cigarette packs and advertisements beginning in September 2012. This is the first change in warning labels in the U.S. in 25 years. They show graphic images that illustrate the dangers of tobacco use, and they are a lot bigger than the old warnings.
June 22 is the second anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which allows the FDA to regulate the manufacture, sale and marketing of tobacco products.
"These new warning labels have the potential to encourage adults to give up their deadly addiction to cigarettes and deter children from starting in the first place," said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
"With 4,100 kids picking up their first cigarette every day, and the vast majority of adult smokers starting as youth, these new graphic warning labels will help educate children and adults about the dangers of smoking from the moment they pick up a pack of cigarettes or see a cigarette ad," he said. The new images include photos and drawings that include diseased lungs, a smoker with a tracheotomy and a sick baby. They can be viewed on the FDA website.
The new labels will cover half of the front and back of cigarette packs and 20% of cigarette advertisements. They will also carry stark warnings, such as "Cigarettes are addictive," "Cigarettes cause cancer," and "Smoking can kill you."
Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year.
Thomas Glynn, PhD, American Cancer Society director of Cancer Science and Trends says the new labels have the potential to help people quit smoking.
"For smokers, it's a new and very visible reminder that smoking can harm them, harm people around them, including children. For nonsmokers, it's a reminder that smokers need their help and concern as far as quitting. The labels are not just for smokers, the labels are for anyone interested in public health."
The labels will also include the toll-free number 1-800-Quit-Now, which will connect callers with quitting programs in their state.
For more information and resources to help you quit smoking, call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org/smokeout.
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.
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