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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid