News / Asia

Future US Cigarette Warning Labels Graphic, Provocative

Proposed new warning labels for US cigarette packs by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Proposed new warning labels for US cigarette packs by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is getting ready to update its warning labels on cigarette packs for the first time since the 1980's.   

The new labels come with graphic images of the health hazards posed by smoking and, says Danny McGoldrick of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a Washington-based anti-smoking group, are much larger than current labels.

The FDA is now soliciting comments from the public on its website for the new labels. But it took 10 years of scientific research and non-stop pressure by groups like McGoldrick's to get the United States to join the 45 other countries that mandate similar warnings.

McGoldrick told VOA's Paul Westpheling that the new labels won't appear on cigarette packs until late 2012 and are part of a long battle that ended with the signing of Tobacco Control Act by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Why is this such a big development?  There have been warning labels on cigarettes for decades.

"One reason it's so important is not only does it command these new and graphic warning labels, but it gives the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] the flexible authority to revise those warning labels moving forward. As the science develops in terms of the damage caused by tobacco, if there are new things to educate smokers and potential smokers about, or if we learn how better to communicate with smokers, the FDA can do that through the rule-making process rather than through an act of [the U.S.] Congress."

Future US Cigarette Warning Labels Graphic, Provocative
Future US Cigarette Warning Labels Graphic, Provocative

What evidence do you have that these warning labels will really reduce smoking?

"One of the reasons we need these warning labels is because our progress has essentially stalled in reducing smoking. This has been a major public health victory, but we still have over 20 percent of Americans smoking and that figure hasn't really changed in about the last five years. We're hopeful that the enhanced warning labels, as part of a comprehensive plan that will include media campaigns, community-based programs, as well as policies like increased tobacco taxes that we know reduces smoking. If we do all these things, we'll begin making progress again."

What has been the reaction from tobacco companies?

"Several companies have sued over this provision of the FDA law. That remains in the courts.  The District Court [the lowest level court in the U.S. federal court system] upheld the requirement for the graphic warning label. When the tobacco industry knows that something reduces smoking, they tend to fight it. They fight us on taxes. They fight us on smoke-free laws. Now they are suing on the warning labels. They are in the business of making money. Those of us in the business of public health are in the business of fewer people smoking and dying and suffering from tobacco related disease."

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid