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FDA Unveils New Cigarette Health Warnings

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FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., says she’s hopeful the graphic images will give smokers the incentive to quit and prevent potential smokers from ever starting. In fact, the phone number for the smoking cessation hotline—1-800-QUIT-NOW—will accompany each warning.

“The Tobacco Control Act requires FDA to provide current and potential smokers with clear and truthful information about the risks of smoking—these warnings do that,” she says. 

The bold health warnings will cover the top 50 percent of the front and rear panels of all cigarette packages and at least 20 percent of each advertisement. They are expected to decrease the number of smokers, which will save lives and increase life expectancy.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year. Tobacco addiction costs the U.S. economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity.

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