Cigarette warning labels in US

The first look is now available in June 2011 for the warnings that will be on all cigarette packages and ads within the next 15 months.

There are nine color images some of which show the effects on the body of cigarette smoking. These images have a text health warning and are now required under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The warnings must appear on every cigarette pack, carton, and advertisement by September 2012.

In November 2010 the public got to chose from 36 images on the Internet. The resulting comments from the public, including public health agencies, retailers, health professionals, advocacy groups and the tobacco industry were examined and a set of pictures will be used with nine printed warnings.

Here are the printed warnings:

  • WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive—with an image of a man smoking through a hole in his throat
  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children—with an image of a parent holding a baby as smoke drifts towards them
  • WARNING: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease—with an image of a disease-riddled lung and a healthy lung
  • WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer—with an image of an open sore and stained teeth on the lips and mouth of a smoker with mouth cancer
  • WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease—with an image of a man who needs an oxygen mask to breathe
  • WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby—with an illustration of a crying newborn in an incubator and hooked-up to a monitor
  • WARNING: Smoking can kill you—with the image of a dead man with a surgery-scarred chest
  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers—with an image of a grieving family member
  • WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health—with an image of a man wearing an “I Quit” T-shirt

These warnings will cover the 50% of the rear and front panels of all cigarette packages. Each advertisement has to give 20% of their space to these warnings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year. Tobacco addiction costs the U.S. economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity.