WASHINGTON, D.C. March 19, 2013 With the Department of Justice announcement today that it will not appeal a federal court ruling throwing out new graphic warning labels created by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cigarette packs, we urge the FDA to work expeditiously to develop new graphic warnings that are still required by law.
Congress gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which requires that new graphic warning labels appear on all cigarette packs sold in this country. Following extensive consumer testing, the FDA issued new warning labels that are similar to labels required in more than 40 countries or jurisdictions. But the tobacco industry, as part of a long series of efforts to obstruct the Tobacco Control Act 's implementation, immediately sued to overturn the suggested labels, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unfortunately sided with the industry in this particular case.
The current warning labels have not been changed in 25 years and are widely considered to be ineffective at communicating the dangers of these addictive and deadly products. Large, graphic cigarette warning labels have been shown to encourage adults to quit smoking and deter children from starting in the first place. Every day that the current warnings remain in place is another day in which the tobacco industry misleads children and adults about the hazards of smoking and the health of the nation is compromised.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
Email: Lauren.Walens@cancer.org or Steve.Weiss@cancer.org
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