The Food and Drug Administration unveiled the new cigarette health warnings that will be required on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the U.S. beginning September 2012. The warnings now include graphic images of diseased lungs, mouth cancer, and a corpse among others. (view graphics)
The warnings represent the most significant changes to cigarette labels in more than 25 years. Currently, cigarette packaging is only required to carry a warning in small typeface along one side of the cigarette pack or carton. The new warnings will be more prominent covering 50% of the front and back panels of each cigarette pack.
Each warning consists of an image and text that focuses on a different health risk associated with smoking:
WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in non-smokers.
WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.
Public health officials hope that the new labels will renew the nation’s antismoking efforts, which have stalled in recent years.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States. More than 1,200 people a day are killed by cigarettes, and 50 percent of all long-term smokers are killed by smoking-related diseases, which add up to about 443,000 deaths annually. The cost to treat these health problems exceeds $96 billion a year.
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration
New York Times