Proposed Warnings on Cigarette Packages and Advertisements by US FDA

US Food and Drug Administration proposed, as well as the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), to change the warnings in cigarette packages and advertisements to have larger and more visible graphic health warnings.

The new required warnings will consist of nine new textual warning statements with color graphics illustrating the negative health consequences of smoking.

Timeline for Final Regulations
The Tobacco Control Act requires FDA to issue final regulations requiring these color graphics by June 22, 2011. It also specifies that the requirement for the new health warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements will take effect 15 months after issuance of this final rule.

Proposed Graphic Health Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements

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: Smoking can kill you.

WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.

WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.

Placement Location on Cigarette Packages
The Tobacco Control Act requires that the nine graphic health warnings appear on the upper portion of the front and rear panels of each cigarette package and comprise at least the top 50 percent of these panels.

Placement Location on Cigarette Advertisement
It also requires that they appear in each cigarette advertisement, and occupy at least 20 percent of the advertisement. For advertisements with a surface area less than 12 square inches, the proposed rule provides a subset of proposed color graphics to accompany the nine textual warning statements.

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