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FDA Releases New Anti-Smoking Warning Labels for Cigarettes

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Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released images that will be required on all new cigarette packaging beginning in October 2012. The pictures are the first new regulation on warning consumers cigarettes can cause numerous health problems in more than 25 years. Currently, only a small, written warning about the dangers of cigarette smoking was required.

The new packaging images are, at times, graphic depictions of prolonged cigarette usage. In one picture, a close up on someone’s mouth showing missing teeth and yellow staining. Another picture showing a man smoking out of a hole in his neck. Other pictures are less jarring, but no less informative.

The updated packaging requirements are designed to help individuals visualize the potential negative consequences of smoking. There are more than 40 other countries around the world that already have such graphic, anti-smoking cigarette packaging. The changes are the result of legislation passed in 2009 giving the FDA the ability to regulate cigarette packaging. The 9 images and content were selected from a group of 36, after numerous scientific research and consumer input.