June 21, 2011 in Nation/World

Cigarette warning labels to get graphic

Associated Press
 

RICHMOND, Va. – Coming to a store near you: nine more reasons not to smoke.

In the most significant change to U.S. cigarette packs in 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration is set to release today nine new warning labels that will depict in graphic detail the negative health effects of tobacco use. Among the possible images are rotting and diseased teeth and gums and a man with a tracheotomy smoking.

The labels will take up the top half of a pack – both front and back – of cigarette packs. Warning labels also must appear in advertisements and constitute 20 percent of an ad. Cigarette makers have until the fall of 2012 to comply.

Mandates to introduce new graphic warning labels were part of a law passed in 2009 that, for the first time, gave the federal government authority to regulate tobacco.

The announcement follows reviews of scientific literature, public comments and results from an FDA-contracted study of 36 labels proposed last November, which included corpses of smokers, cancer patients and diseased lungs.

In recent years, more than 30 countries or jurisdictions have introduced similar labels.

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