FDA asks for new smoking hazard image warning on cigarette packaging

Although the U.S. has significantly reduced the number of smokers in just a few months, including through educational campaigns and tax increases, it is estimated that there are still about 34 million smokers in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to further reduce that number and plans to increase efforts to reduce the number of adverse packaging. The new package will include images of the little-known consequences associated with cigarettes.

FDA asks for new smoking hazard image warning on cigarette packaging

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The FDA revealed Tuesday that it has issued final rules that will force cigarette makers to add new hazard warnings to their cigarette packaging and related advertising. The warnings will include color-realistic images that describe the consequences of some lesser-known smoking, including fetal growth problems and diabetes.

According to the FDA, the warnings will also be accompanied by “text notes” and new health warnings will appear in cigarette packaging and advertising in June 2021. The agency says warning labels account for at least 50 percent of cigarette packs. The FDA approved a total of 11 warning labels, saying manufacturers would need to distribute and display cigarette packs and advertisements “randomly and equally.” These companies also need to rotate the labels used quarterly. The label will include warnings about cataracts, limb amputations, bladder cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc.

FDA asks for new smoking hazard image warning on cigarette packaging

“It’s not, ” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA Tobacco Products Center.

The final 11 cigarette health warnings represent the most significant change in cigarette labeling in 35 years and will greatly increase public awareness of the dangers of little-known but serious health-threatening cigarettes… Research shows that there is still a huge gap in public awareness of cigarette knowledge and the dangers of smoking, and that smokers have misconceptions about cigarettes and their negative health effects.