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Litigation Update: New Warnings to be Added to Cigarette Packages and Advertisements

Litigation Update: New Warnings to be Added to Cigarette Packages and Advertisements

On Tuesday, March 18th, the FDA released a new set of 11 mandatory graphic warnings to be added to cigarette boxes and advertisements.

The FDA stated that smokers have become indifferent to the current warnings and are not aware of some major risks that are well connected to smoking, such as bladder cancer, neck cancer, and the fact that second-hand tobacco smoke can harm children. Data shows that smokers have 4 times the risk of bladder cancer when compared to non-smokers. The new notices will be paired with corresponding images. The new warnings include:

  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes head and neck cancer.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes bladder cancer, which can lead to bloody urine.
  • WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy stunts fetal growth.
  • WARNING: Smoking can cause heart disease and strokes by clogging arteries.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes COPD, a lung disease that can be fatal.
  • WARNING: Smoking reduces blood flow, which can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • WARNING: Smoking reduces blood flow to the limbs, which can require amputation.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes type 2 diabetes, which raises blood sugar.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes cataracts, which can lead to blindness.

This new rule goes into effect starting June 18, 2021. The guidelines mandate that the graphic warnings must occupy the top 50% of the area on the front and back of packages and at least 20% of the area at the top of advertisements. This is the first revision made to the warnings since 1984.

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