The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (also known as H.R. 1256) went into effect last summer. The law basically gives the FDA the power to regulate some aspects of the tobacco industry. A signature element of the law imposes new warnings and labels on tobacco packaging and their advertisements, with the goal of discouraging kids from smoking. A few weeks ago, the FDA issued a proposed rule that would modify the required warnings that appear on cigarette packages and advertisements. These proposed new required warnings would consist of 9 new warning statements and color graphics showing the negative health consequences of smoking.
The proposed graphic health warnings would appear on the top 50% percent front and back each cigarette package. The warnings would also need to appear in at least 20% of each cigarette ad. The FDA is required to issue final regulations requiring these color graphics by June 22, 2011. It also specifies that the requirement for the new health warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements will take effect 15 months after issuance of this final rule. Here are some of the proposed labels: Addiction, Kids, Lungs, Cancer,
Stroke, Babies, Lethal, Lung Disease, and Quit.
The FDA is seeking public comment on the proposed rule until Tuesday, January 11, 2011. You can submit an official comment during this time period by going to www.regulations.gov and inserting the docket number FDA-2010-N-0568 into the “search” box.