Will New Cigarette Packaging Change the Face of Smoking?

Under mandates by health advocates and federal regulators, cigarette packaging will include graphic health warnings, replacing the warning cigarette packaging has had for 25 years years. The graphic warnings “will cover half the front and back of each pack and will offer a toll-free number for people to call who want to quit smoking.”

The new graphics are schedule to appear on cigarette packaging in September.

These new graphic advertisements are required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) and Congress gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. Under its authority the FDA issued a rule called Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements that will modify the required warnings that appear on cigarette packaging.

Some tobacco companies were opposed to the FDA’s implementations and filed a lawsuit claiming the FDA’s regulations are inconsistent with free speech laws.  Last November, a District Judge blocked the FDA’s new graphic requirement, stating that “the warnings should not appear unless the tobacco industry loses its larger lawsuit, which raises questions about the Constitutionality of the warning labels.”

Last fall, the Canadian government approved new cigarette warning labels to be placed on packaging of cigarettes and little cigars. Retailers must ensure that all product packaging on shelves have the new labels on them by June 18th.

To read the full article, click here.

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