FDA releases new warning labels for cigarette packages

The Food and Drug Administration released new warning labels for cigarette packages on Tuesday morning, with photographs showing a dead body after an autopsy, a man exhaling smoke through a tracheostomy, and other images of health problems meant to deter smokers.

Tobacco companies have until next year to put them on all packs of cigarettes.

"These new warning labels have the potential to encourage adults to give up their deadly addiction to cigarettes and deter children from starting in the first place," John Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.

"With 4,100 kids picking up their first cigarette every day, and the vast majority of adult smokers starting as youth, these new graphic warning labels will help educate children and adults about the dangers of smoking from the moment they pick up a pack of cigarettes or see a cigarette ad," Seffrin said.

"These warnings mark the first change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years and are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking," the FDA said in a statement.

The FDA proposed the new labels in February and settled on nine pictures to illustrate nine separate warnings, including: "Tobacco use can rapidly lead to the development of nicotine addiction, which in turn increases the frequency of tobacco use and prevents people from quitting. Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol."

One illustration shows a cartoon image of a premature baby, with the caption, "Warning: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby." Another shows the damaged teeth and gums of a smoker.

"We found in the past in research that we conducted... that in particular, the picture with the mouth, with the teeth, communicates the message more effectively," Roswell Park Cancer Institute behavioral scientist Maansi Bansal-Travers, who tested the warnings and others in several countries, told National Journal.

Bansal-Travers said testing has shown the pictures draw attention to the written warnings and people are more likely to remember them. "Pictures really do communicate better than words," she said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.