The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing new warnings to appear on cigarette packages and advertisements, and has released the text and images of the new warnings on its website.
The words are blunt and the images are intense. The pictures include a cancer patient, a baby with smoke being blown on its face and the gray feet of a corpse. According to the FDA, The Tobacco Control Act requires that the warnings appear “on the upper portion of the front and rear panels of each cigarette package and comprise at least the top 50 percent of these panels.” On advertisements, the warnings will take up at least 20% of the space. For ads smaller than 12 square inches, there are special provisions.
You can see a number of the proposed new warnings in our slideshow here.
The nine new proposed text warnings are:
- WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive.
- WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
- WARNING: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
- WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer.
- WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
- WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
- WARNING: Smoking can kill you.
- WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
- WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.
The FDA is seeking public comment on the proposals through January 9, 2011. Then, it plans to issue final regulations requiring the graphics by June 22, 2011.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com