FDA Proposes Bold New Cigarette Warnings

The federal government has come up with a proposal for its boldest cigarette labels yet: 36 new prominent textual warnings accompanied with colored graphics.

The federal government has come up with a proposal for its boldest cigarette labels yet: 36 new prominent textual warnings accompanied with colored graphics to illustrate the negative consequences of smoking. If successful, the requirements would be the most dramatic change to cigarette packaging in 25 years.

According to the Washington Post, the new warnings “will cover half the front and back of each pack and 20 percent of the top of each ad.”

The proposal is the latest step by the government to try and combat the 443,000 deaths that occur in the United States each year that are associated with tobacco. In fact, tobacco remains the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the US. And even though smoking rates have recently dropped, as estimated 20% of adults and high school students smoke.

So, just how graphic are the proposed images?

One is of a man with a hole in his throat holding and smoking a cigarette. Another depicts a man who is suffering a heart attack. Another has a woman holding a baby in a smoky room. Even more contain images of diseased lungs and stained teeth.

See all of the proposed images on the FDA’s website.

The public will be called upon to weigh in on the 36 images through January 9, at which point, if everything continues to move forward as planned, with results in the FDA’s selection of 9 of those images by June 22, 2011. At that point, the new rules requiring cigarette manufacturers to include the images would go into effect by October 22, 2012.

What do you think about this new proposal? Are these images too aggressive or is this something that needs to happen given the current state of smoking-related deaths in the United States?

Around the Web

More graphic cigarette warnings proposed [CNN]

New, more graphic cigarette warnings unveiled [Washington Post]

F.D.A. Unveils Graphic Warning Labels for Cigarettes [NY Times]

Proposed Cigarette Product Warning Labels [FDA Website]