FDA Wants Your Opinion on New Cigarette Warnings

You have the opportunity to shape the way cigarette packaging will look after September 12, 2012. By that date, all cigarette packages and advertisements must carry stronger warnings and color images.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put together samples of proposed warnings and images, and they want the public to weigh-in on the 36 possible images. The agency will use your comments, along with scientific research results, to create a final set of nine images which will appear on all cigarette packages and advertisements.

This is a unique opportunity to have an effect on the way cigarettes are marketed in the United States. According to an FDA press release:

FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., says the graphic health warnings show how FDA is using its new regulatory authority over tobacco products to benefit the public’s health.

”Today, FDA takes a crucial step toward reducing the tremendous toll of illness and death caused by tobacco use by proposing to dramatically change how cigarette packages and advertising look in this country,” Hamburg says. ”When the rule takes effect, the health consequences of smoking will be obvious every time someone picks up a pack of cigarettes.”

How to View the Images and Make Your Opinions Known

All you have to do is view the 36 images, then send your thoughts and comments to the FDA via the Internet, fax, or snail-mail.

To submit comments on the warning labels and the proposed rule—between Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, through Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011:

  • Go to www.regulations.gov and insert docket number FDA-2010-N-0568 into the “search” box and follow the prompts.
  • Send a fax, with your comments, to 301-827-6870.
  • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions) to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. FDA-2010-N-0568. It is only necessary to send one set of comments.

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