And, in other health news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule to require new health warnings in cigarette advertising and packaging. The rule requires new health warnings along with photos that depict lesser-known, but serious, health risks associated with cigarette smoking. The new rule goes into effect on June 18, 2021.
According to Mitch Zeller, the Director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, these new health warnings, "represent the most significant change to cigarette labels in more than 35 years and will considerably increase public awareness of lesser-known, but serious negative health consequences of cigarette smoking."
The new cigarette health warnings will be required to appear prominently on cigarette packages and in advertisements, occupying the top 50% of the area of the front and rear panels of cigarette packages and at least 20% of the area at the top of cigarette advertisements. Once implemented, the new warnings must be randomly and equally displayed and distributed on cigarette packages and rotated quarterly in cigarette advertisements.
The new warnings are:
- WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
- WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
- WARNING: Smoking causes head and neck cancer.
- WARNING: Smoking causes bladder cancer, which can lead to bloody urine.
- WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy stunts fetal growth.
- WARNING: Smoking can cause heart disease and strokes by clogging arteries.
- WARNING: Smoking causes COPD, a lung disease that can be fatal.
- WARNING: Smoking reduces blood flow, which can cause erectile dysfunction.
- WARNING: Smoking reduces blood flow to the limbs, which can require amputation.
- WARNING: Smoking causes type 2 diabetes, which raises blood sugar.
- WARNING: Smoking causes cataracts, which can lead to blindness.
The FDA also released business guidance to help companies comply with the new requirements.
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