FDA Proposes New Graphic Warning Labels for Cigarettes
WASHINGTON -- The FDA on Thursday proposed 13 new graphic warnings labels that would appear on cigarette packages and in advertisements to discourage Americans from lighting up.
The labels would include color photos and warnings that "Smoking reduces blood flow to the limbs, which can require amputation," and "Smoking causes bladder cancer, which can lead to bloody urine."
The labels represent the "most significant" change to cigarette labels in the U.S. in 35 years, the FDA said Thursday.
"While most people assume the public knows all they need to understand about the harms of cigarette smoking, there's a surprising number of lesser-known risks that both youth and adult smokers and nonsmokers may simply not be aware of, such as bladder cancer, diabetes, and conditions that can cause blindness," Dr. Ned Sharpless, acting FDA commissioner, said Thursday.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, according to the CDC.
More than 40 million adults in the United States still smoke cigarettes, according to the CDC. Nearly five million American middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.
The FDA will take public comments on the proposed warnings for two months before publishing a final rule next spring.
(Photo provided by the US Food and Drug Administration.)