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New Cigarette Warning Label
WASHINGTON - Smoking among American Indians and Alaska Natives at 32.4 percent is the highest by far among any racial and ethnic group in the country, making it a problem of epidemic proportions, according to the American Lung Association.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, today unveiled the nine graphic health warnings required to appear on every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States and in every cigarette advertisement. This bold measure will help prevent children from smoking, encourage adults who do to quit, and ensure every American understands the dangers of smoking.
"It is common sense to invest our time and tax money toward reducing the number one cause of preventable death in our people", said Euphemia "Sue" Franklin, Executive Director, South Eastern Michigan Indians, Inc. "No other risk factor comes close to the death and disease caused by tobacco use".
The warnings represent the most significant changes to cigarette labels in more than 25 years and will affect everything from packaging to advertisements and are required to be placed on all cigarette packs, cartons and ads no later than September 2012.
New Cigarette Warning Label
"President Obama is committed to protecting our nation's children and the American people from the dangers of tobacco use. These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "President Obama wants to make tobacco-related death and disease part of the nationâ€™s past, and not our future."
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, and costs our economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity.
Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death in the US and among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Heart disease and stroke together accounted for about 38% of all deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
These warnings, which were proposed in November 2010, were required under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which was passed with broad bipartisan support in Congress and signed into law by president Obama on June 22, 2009.
Each warning is accompanied by a smoking cessation phone number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which will allow it to be seen at the time it is most relevant to smokers, increasing the likelihood that smokers who want to quit will be successful.
When implemented in September 2012, all cigarettes manufactured for sale or distribution in the United States will need to include the new graphic health warnings on their packages. The introduction of these warnings is expected to have a significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy, and improved health status.
The FDA action is part of a broad Obama Administration strategy previously announced by HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH "Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan" outlines specific, evidence-based actions that will help create a society free of tobacco-related death and disease.
For more information on graphic warning labels visit FDA.gov »
posted June 21, 2011 11:47 am et
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