FDA releases new cigarette warning labels

June 21, 2011

Washington – The Food and Drug Administration has released nine new health warnings required to appear on every pack of cigarettes and in every cigarette advertisement by September 2012.

Unveiled June 21, the new warnings feature nine graphic images of the health impacts of smoking and secondhand smoke, and are accompanied by a smoking cessation phone number, (800) QUIT-NOW. The new warnings mark the first significant change to cigarette labels in more than 25 years.

“These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said.

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, and is responsible for 443,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.