New labeling plans for cigarettes underway

Nov 22, 2010

Lawmakers seek to change cigarette labels

Thousands of people smoke cigarettes everyday despite the major health consequences they pose. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is ramping up efforts to ensure it's obvious to anyone who holds a pack of cigarettes how dangerous they are.

Using a proposal by the Food and Drug Administration, nine more warnings and graphics would be printed on packages and advertisements. The new rules won't go into effect until September 2012.

Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh says help on all fronts is needed to help reduce the number of smokers in the country.

"We are at an unprecedented time in our nation's history to protect the public's health from tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable, premature death in the United States," says Koh. "It will take renewed commitment from every sector of society to end the tobacco epidemic."

Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, among other major health conditions. Numerous benefits from kicking the habit can be evident shortly after doing so. Many people end up paying higher life insurance premiums because of the practice.

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