Beginning September 2012, FDA will require larger, more prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States. These warnings mark the first change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years and are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking.
View Final Warnings: The final set of cigarette health warnings contains nine different text warnings and accompanying color graphics to increase awareness of the specific health risks associated with smoking, such as death, addiction, lung disease, cancer, stroke and heart disease; encourage smokers to quit; and empower youth to say no to tobacco.
WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive. Tobacco use can rapidly lead to the development of nicotine addiction, which in turn increases the frequency of tobacco use and prevents people from quitting. Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children. Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease. Smoking causes lung diseases such as emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction. About 90 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer. Smoking causes approximately 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths in women. Smoking also causes cancers of the bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, larynx, lung, mouth, throat, stomach, uterus, and acute myeloid leukemia. Nearly one-third of all cancer deaths are directly linked to smoking.
WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease. More than 140,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke in the United States are caused each year by smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 2 to 4 times.
WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby. Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants, infants with low birth weight and an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
WARNING: Smoking can kill you. More than 1,200 people a day are killed by cigarettes in the United States alone, and 50 percent of all long-term smokers are killed by smoking-related diseases. Tobacco use is the cause of death for nearly one out of every five people in the United States, which adds up to about 443,000 deaths annually.
WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20–30 percent.
WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health. Quitting at any age and at any time is beneficial. It's never too late to quit, but the sooner the better. Quitting gives your body a chance to heal the damage caused by smoking.
Public Health Impact
Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, and claims almost half a million lives each year. Requiring larger, more prominent warnings on cigarette packaging and advertisements is part of a broader strategy to help tobacco users quit and prevent young people from starting. The new warnings serve as reminder of the negative health consequences of smoking every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes or views a cigarette advertisement.