FDA Releases Graphic Cigarette Labels

June 21, 2011 Updated Jun 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM EDT

By WKBW News

June 21, 2011 Updated Jun 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC ( ABC NEWS) The United States Food and Drug Administration has released graphic cigarette labels.

The proposed cigarette packages would include images of cancer patients and rotting teeth.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will unveil on June 21 the final nine graphic health warnings chosen to appear on every pack of cigarettes sold and on all cigarette advertising in the United States. This represents the most significant change to cigarette labels in more than 25 years and will affect everything from packaging to advertising. The labels combine graphic imagery with straightforward facts to make the message clear: smoking can kill you.

These warning labels, which will appear on cigarette packaging and advertising by September 2012, are part of a broader Department of Health and Human Services strategy to prevent children from starting to use tobacco and to help current tobacco users quit. The warnings are required under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Thirty percent of all cancer deaths are due to tobacco. Each day, 1,200 lives of current and former smokers are lost prematurely due to tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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