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FDA proposes new line of cigarette warning graphics

Friday, November 12, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: cigarettes, FDA warning, health news

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(NaturalNews) After being granted the power to regulate tobacco products for the first time last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come up with a new anti-cigarette marketing campaign that the agency hopes will help deter people from smoking. According to a recent New York Times report, the FDA has proposed 36 graphic warning labels it hopes to plaster on cigarette cartons and advertisement billboards in the near future.

The graphics include a picture of corpse feet with the tag line, "Warning: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease". And another shows a dead body in a casket with the caption, "Warning: Smoking can kill you". On the cartons themselves, the proposed warnings are designed to take up half the box. And on billboards, the warnings will cover 20 percent of the overall advertisement.

Similar graphics already appear on cigarette cartons in Europe, where reports indicate that they have resulted in some success. And many laud the U.S. initiative as a large step towards making smoking so unattractive that increasingly fewer Americans will be willing to participate in it. By illustrating the long-term effects of smoking's consequences, regulators say that young people especially will be less prone to smoke.

According to current statistics, 1,000 new children and teenagers become regular smokers every single day, while 4,000 try it for the first time. And this occurs despite current warning labels that indicate cigarettes cause lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and pregnancy problems, leading some to question whether or not the graphics campaign will have much effect.

Even so, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius praised the proposal as an "important milestone in protecting our children and the health of the American public", and Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said it is the "most important change in cigarette health warnings in the history of the United States."

Sources for this story include:

http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/health/pol...

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