New Graphic Warning Labels Showcase Tobacco Dangers

FDA Seeking Public Comment on Updates to Required Warning

November 16, 2010 — Images of diseased lungs, corpses and addictive behaviors along with warnings like “Smoking can kill you” are among the example warning labels the FDA may require for cigarette packages and advertising. A by-product of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the new, more explicit labels are part of the Federal Government’s goal to reduce the adult smoking rate to 12% by 2020.

The FDA is currently seeking public comment to help select new labels from the 36 proposed graphics. The period for commenting runs from November 12, 2010 to January 11, 2011. The final regulations for the new warning labels will be issued by June 22, 2011. Cigarettes will not be able to be sold in the United States after October 22, 2012 without the new labels. To submit your comment on the proposed labels, you may:

  • Go to and insert docket number FDA-2010-N-0568 into the “search” box and follow the prompts.
  • Send a fax, with your comments, to 301-827-6870.
  • For paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions, you may mail, hand-deliver or courier them to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. FDA-2010-N-0568.

Graphic Warnings the Next Step in Smoking Prevention

For would-be smokers, the new warning labels, which will occupy 50% of the front and back of cigarette packaging, highlight the true dangers of tobacco use. Advertisements will also be required to have labels occupying 20% of the ad’s surface area. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids found that larger, more graphic warning labels were more effective than the current labels required by the FDA.

The FDA is considering requiring warning labels to include contact information for resources that may help smokers quit, such as a toll-free telephone number, according to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

Brayton Purcell has long supported efforts to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco addiction and diseases. We are longtime supporters of the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association as well as committed to providing information on the effects of nicotine addiction and health benefits to smoking cessation to the general public. We ask that you join us by submitting your comments to the FDA.