FDA requires new, graphic cigarette advertising
The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it will begin requiring a change inÂ the warning labels put on cigarette packages and ads.
Cigarette manufacturers will be required to place graphic images that cover half of the packageâsÂ front and back. The top 20 percent of ads will be required to contain such images as well.
The FDA will choose from a list of 36 images that include diseased lungs, rotting teeth, peopleÂ lying in coffins, and myriad other graphic images and accompanying text demonstrating theÂ dangers of smoking, according to the Los Angeles Times.
âWe want to make sure every person who picks up a pack of cigarettes knows exactly what theÂ risk is they are taking,â said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a newsÂ conference.
The reason for the shift in cigarette advertising requirements â which is the first major change in aÂ quarter-century â is a concern from federal agencies about smoking trends.
Smoking rates declined from roughly 42 percent in 1965 to less than 21 percent in 2004. Rates haveÂ remained at a flat rate since, however, which has prompted federal agencies to take action.
It is estimated that 450,000 Americans die annually because of smoking-related disease, and 8 millionÂ suffer from related chronic disease. This places a $100 billion burden on the national economyÂ each year, according to the Times.
The FDA will choose nine images to use by June 22, 2011, and will require cigaretteÂ manufacturers to place them on packages by the following Sept. 22.
The ultimate goal is to reduce smoking rates by 12 percent by the year 2020.
âThere is still a long way to go to reduce the enormous burden of death and disability, but we canÂ make progress,” said Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, FDA commissioner.