The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

US to implement bold cigarette health warnings

A proposed US cigarette health warningArticle 11

The US will implement nine new larger and more noticeable text and graphic warnings on cigarette packets and advertisements by the end of 2012.

The warnings are part of the country’s new tobacco control strategy to help tobacco users quit and prevent children from starting. The warnings also mark the most significant change in 25 years to tobacco control in the US, which is not a Party to the global tobacco treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.


In the US, tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death - responsible for 443,000 deaths every year.  Each day 1,200 lives of current and former smokers are lost prematurely due to tobacco-related diseases. Thirty per cent of all cancer deaths are due to tobacco.

Until January 2011 the US public will have the opportunity to comment on 36 proposed warning images.

By 22 June 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will select the final nine graphic and textual warning statements. 

Implementation of the final rule on 22 September 2012 will prohibit companies from manufacturing cigarettes without new graphic health warnings on their packages for sale or distribution in the US.  Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers in the US will also no longer be allowed to advertise cigarettes without the new graphic health warnings.

By 22 October 2012 manufacturers will be prohibited from distributing cigarettes for sale in the US that do not display the new graphic health warnings.

More information

Read more about the new warnings


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