New cigarette warning labels out

New cigarette warning labels required by the FDA will be hard to miss.

The images are graphic and intended to shock you into not lighting up. It's part of the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

There are nine new graphic warning labels, including a man with a tracheotomy and another with rotted teeth. Soon you will see them on cigarette packages.

The FDA is requiring tobacco companies to cover the top half of cigarette packs with the new labels and 20% of cigarette advertisements.

Tuesday the federal government released taped messages explaining why the old, scripted warnings that have been on cigarette packages for the last 25 years are being replaced.

“Multiple scientific studies have proven that the current warning labels are no longer effective,” said Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, Director of the Center for Tobacco Products. 

“For years the tobacco industry has promoted images suggesting use of their products will somehow bring you glamour when tragically we know the exact opposite is true,” said Dr. Howard Koh of the Dept. of Health and Human Services.  “These changes are fundamental. They make every pack an opportunity for education and make prevention come alive for the American public.”

Tobacco companies, which are paying for the new labels, are raising questions about the constitutionality of the mandate.

In a letter to the FDA, Philip Morris says: “Any government requirement that compels a private entity to carry a message not of its own choosing raises constitutional concerns.”

The new warning labels must be in place by September or next year.

The FDA estimates the labels will cut the number of smokers by 213,000 by the year 2013.

Categories: KUSI