FDA Releases New Warnings For Cigarette Packs

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Beginning September 2012, the FDA will require larger, more prominent health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released nine designs for new warnings that will be required to appear on cigarette packing and advertisements starting September 2012.

The designs, which can feature graphic depictions of diseases linked to smoking, “will appear on the top 50 percent of both the front and rear panels of each cigarette package” and “in the upper portion of each cigarette advertisement, occupying at least 20 percent of the area of the advertisement,” according to a statement on the FDA’s website.

“FDA selected the final nine cigarette health warnings based on their ability to effectively communicate the health risks of smoking to the public. In making selections, FDA considered its review of relevant scientific literature, more than 1,700 public comments, and results from its 18,000 person study,” the statement read.

The FDA has implemented a timeline for manufacturers of tobacco products to implement the new packaging. By October 22, 2012, cigarette manufacturers will no longer be able to distribute cigarettes for sale in the U.S. unless they display the new warnings.

“The introduction of these warnings is expected to have a significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy, and lower medical costs,” the statement read. “The new warnings serve as reminder of the negative health consequences of smoking every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes or views a cigarette advertisement.”

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