Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels

U.S. cigarette manufacturers are fighting the FDA's rule that they must begin adding graphic warning images to their packages this September.

The transition to these graphic warnings began in late 2010 but the manufacturers' lawsuit has made the implementation and the date uncertain at this point.

Other countries are already requiring graphic warning labels or planning to do so. Canada has mandated this type of label since 2000--and the smoking rate there has dropped dramatically. In fact, the labels are about to become even more graphic.

Indonesia wants 40% of the package label devoted to such images. Australia wants labels with brand names in tiny print and graphic images on 70% of the front and 100% of the back of the pack (a requirement the manufacturers are fighting before implementation begins this December).

More battles are ahead as the industry looks for ways to market tobacco and the regulators look for ways to be sure consumers are informed about the dangers of smoking.

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