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FDA Proposes Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs
Date:11/10/2010

gulate tobacco products, including marketing and labeling guidelines, ban certain products and limit nicotine.

For the pictures-on-cigarette pack strategy, the FDA will chose by June 22, 2011, nine "graphic and textual warning statements" to appear prominently on cigarette packages. The warnings will also have to appear in cigarette advertisements.

By Oct. 22, 2012, tobacco companies will be required to include these warnings on all cigarette packages sold in the United States.

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, applauded the new proposals.

"With today's publication of the Food and Drug Administration's proposed rule to modify required warning labels on cigarette packages and advertisements, we hope more Americans will resist the temptations of tobacco use and participate in evidence-based smoking cessation programs that include counseling and pharmacotherapies," she said in a statement.

Reynolds American Inc., the parent company of the nation's second-largest cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds, is reviewing the labeling plan. But spokesman David Howard said the legality of the new labels is part of a lawsuit filed by the company, Lorillard Inc. and other cigarette makers that is pending in federal appeals court, the Associated Press reported.

In their lawsuit, the tobacco makers contend that the warnings would relegate the companies' brands to the bottom half of the cigarette packaging, making it "difficult, if not impossible, to see," the AP reported.

Over the last decade, countries as varied as Canada, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Iran and Singapore, among others, have adopted graphic warnings on tobacco products. Some are downright disturbing: in Brazil, cigarette packages come with pictures of dead babies and a gangrened foot with blackened toes.

Currently, the United States has some of the weakest requirements for cigarette package warnings in the world, David Hammond, an assi
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