Cigarette packages and advertisements need to have larger and more visible graphic health warnings. And you can play a role in selecting them.
The requirement for more vivid warnings comes from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). Subsequently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule, Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements, which seeks to modify the required warnings that appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements.
The thought is that the images would do a better job of getting the attention of smokers – and potential smokers – before the next – or first – cigarette is lit. After all, smoking is not just a health hazard to smokers, but to those around them. Consider these statistics from the American Cancer Society:
- An estimated 46,000 deaths each year from heart disease in non-smokers who live with smokers.
- About 3,400 lung cancer deaths annually in non-smoking adults.
These new required warnings would consist of nine new textual warning statements accompanied by color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking. They would appear on cigarette packaging and ads nationwide, including Huntsville.
But before they decide which messages and artwork will stick, they want to hear what the public thinks. To get started, take a look at the images the agency has developed.
Here are some of the proposed graphics pertaining to health warnings for cigarette packages and advertisements:
- Cigarettes are addictive.
- Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
- Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
- Cigarettes cause cancer.
- Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
- Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
- Smoking can kill you.
- Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
- Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.
The Tobacco Control Act requires that the FDA issue final regulations that require these color graphics by June 2011. It also specifies that the requirement for the new health warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements will take effect 15 months after this final rule is issued.
To learn how you can weigh in on the issue, click here. For more on secondhand smoke, click here.