FDA wants graphic new health warnings for cigarette packs

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The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed that cigarette packs carry graphic new health warnings including pictures and text outlining lesser-known risks of smoking like bladder cancer and diabetes as well as lung cancer. Reuters Health reports that the FDA said the proposed changes, which also drastically increase the size of the warnings, could be the most significant to cigarette labels in more than 35 years.

The proposal also applies to cigarette advertisements, and would add 13 new warnings, along with coloured pictures that outline the risk of diseases associated with smoking. Research has shown that the current warnings on cigarette packages are “virtually invisible to both smokers and non-smokers”, the FDA said.

The report says the new proposal follows a failed bid by the FDA in 2011 for coloured graphic warnings, which was challenged in court by tobacco companies and ultimately declined in 2012. Following a lawsuit filed by several public health groups, a judge issued an order in March 2019 directing the agency to publish a proposed rule by August and issue a final rule in March 2020.

Reuters Health report

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