New York Times
November 20, 2010
Starting in 2012, cigarette packages and advertisements will have to carry new warning labels that pound home the message that smoking sickens and kills. The message isn’t new, but it will be presented in a bigger, starker format — including images of tobacco’s devastating effects — that should be harder to ignore than the tiny, text-only warning labels that have lost their punch.
The current labels, tucked away on the side of packages or the corner of advertisements, have not been changed in a quarter-century. And smoking rates, which had been dropping for decades, have flattened out in recent years. One in five adults and high school students are smokers.
A 2009 law gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco. It requires that the new warnings must cover the top half of both the front and the back of cigarette packs and 20 percent of cigarette advertisements. Manufacturers will also be required to use F.D.A.-approved images.