Entries in Cigarette Packs (4)


Judge Blocks Graphic Photos from Appearing on Cigarette Packs

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A federal judge's ruling on graphic photos that were to be displayed on cigarette packs delivered a punch that the Food and Drug Administration didn't see coming.

Siding with five tobacco companies, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon issued a preliminary injunction that stops the government from putting enhanced warnings on cigarette packages, cartons and advertisements that some have found repulsive.  The photos of diseased lungs, a disfigured lip and a man smoking from a hole in his throat, among others, were supposed to appear next June.

Lawyers for the cigarette makers successfully argued that a court must first decide if the FDA's new rules violate their constitutional right to free speech before the graphic pictures can find their way onto their products.

Meanwhile, Matthew L. Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement, "Judge Leon’s ruling ignores the overwhelming scientific evidence about the need for the new cigarette warnings and their effectiveness."

The FDA said it would turn the case over to the Justice Department, which could appeal Leon's ruling.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tobacco Companies Sue FDA over Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels

U.S. Food and Drug Administration(WASHINGTON) -- For years, the tobacco industry has put up with anti-smoking ads and having to put warnings labels on packs of cigarettes.

But now, several big tobacco companies are fighting back against new requirements imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to put hard-hitting anti-smoking images on packs of cigarettes.

In a 41-page lawsuit filed on Tuesday, five tobacco companies argue that the labels step on their freedom of speech and serve as an advertisement to push the government's anti-smoking agenda.

"The government can require warnings which are straightforward and essentially uncontroversial, but they can't require a cigarette pack to serve as a mini-billboard for the government's anti-smoking campaign," Floyd Abrams, a lawyer for the companies, said in a statement.

Beginning in September 2012, the labels -- which include images of a man smoking from a tracheotomy hole and rotting teeth -- will be required on all cigarette packing in the U.S.

The FDA has not yet issued a response to the lawsuit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FDA Unveils Final Nine Cigarette Warning Labels

U.S. Food and Drug Administration(WASHINGTON) -- The modest one-line warnings on the dangers of smoking now featured on cigarette packs, will soon turn into graphic images and messages that cover nearly half the pack.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled the final nine graphics that will appear on cigarette packs, including images of a man smoking from a tracheotomy hole, and rotting teeth.  The images mark the most dramatic change a single pack has undergone in more than 25 years.  The agency will require all manufacturers to use the labels on all U.S. sold cigarettes by Oct. 22, 2012.

The FDA first introduced 36 jarring labels in November 2010, which were aimed at escalating efforts to warn smokers of the fatal consequences of cigarette smoking.  The labels represented the agency's exercise of its new authority over tobacco products and the most significant change in cigarette warnings since companies were forced to add the mandatory Surgeon General's warning in 1965.

Previous studies suggest that graphic health warnings displayed in other countries worked better than text warnings to motivate smokers to quit, and nonsmokers not to start.

The United States was the first country to require health warnings on tobacco products.  But it is now playing catchup to more than 30 countries that already require large, graphic cigarette warnings.

Images used on cigarette packs in countries such as Canada are so disturbing that some smokers buy covers for their cigarette packs to block out the images.

The images created by the FDA are arguably tame in comparison, said Dr. Eden Evins, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

While some experts think the images will pack a heavier punch to smokers than the current warning labels, some health communication experts wonder how long the proposed fear-based messages will work.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FDA Proposes New Warnings, Graphics to Fight Tobacco Use

One of the FDA's proposed graphic health warnings. Photo Courtesy - Food and Drug Administration(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday a new strategy against tobacco use that calls for bolder warnings and graphics on cigarette packs and advertisements.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed the new warnings, requiring that "nine new larger and more noticeable textual warning statements and color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements."

Americans will be able to give feedback on 36 proposed images through Jan. 9, 2011.  The FDA will choose the final graphics and warnings by June 22, 2011.

In the U.S., tobacco use is the number one cause of premature and preventable death.  It accounts for 443,000 deaths each year, 30 percent of all cancer deaths, and the premature loss of 1,200 lives each day.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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