FDA's 9 Graphic New Cigarette Warnings
For the first time in 25 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is changing its requirements for health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertisements. Beginning in September 2012, cigarette packaging will feature graphic images instead of text-only messages. The jarring pictures are intended to more effectively prevent children from starting smoking, encourage adults who smoke to quit, and reinforce the dangers ofsmokingto everyone. About 20 percent of Americans smoke, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which also estimates that 443,000 Americans will die this year from tobacco-related heart attacks, cancers, and other diseases.
The nine labels were chosen from 36 images based on an 18,000-person study and input from the tobacco industry, retailers, health professionals, state and local public health agencies, consumers, and others. They will fill the top half of all cigarette packs and are required on every aspect of cigarette messaging, including billboards, cartons, and advertisements. “These labels are frank, honest, and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement.
The U.S. joins Canada, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Iran, and Singapore in a growing list of countries that use visual warnings on tobacco products. The graphic images are believed to help decrease smoking rates; Canada has seen a 5 percent decline in smokers since it introduced new labels in 2000, according to HealthDay.
Video: New graphic warnings for cigarette smokers
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