Smokers faced with grim realities
Smokers soon will have gruesome reminders of the negative health effects from tobacco use when new mandatory packaging labels go into effect on Sept. 12, 2012.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require larger, more prominent health warnings on cigarette packages and advertising. At least 50 percent of the front and back of each pack of cigarettes will carry one of nine new warnings, accompanied by graphic photo images, some of which include diseased lungs, an autopsy victim and a man smoking through a stoma.
Other images depict infants, children, and adults with subsequent warnings concerning smoking during pregnancy and the effects of second-hand smoke on family members.
The new labels, the first change in cigarette warnings in over 25 years, are part of an anti-smoking campaign, which, according to the FDA, serves to communicate the dangers of smoking. The FDA hopes to see a reduction in the number of smokers through this campaign, which is geared toward saving lives, increased life expectancies and lower medical costs.
The new warnings must occupy at least 20 percent of the upper portion on each advertisement.
According to the FDA, cigarettes sold in the United States must carry the new warning labels as of Sept. 22 of next year.
The new warning labels may be seen at www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts.