Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) applauded a new comprehensive tobacco control strategy that will employ larger, more noticeable and graphic warning statements on cigarette packages and advertisements. These new health warnings, created by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that Dodd shepherded through Congress, will be one of the most significant changes to tobacco regulation in more than 25 years.
"Each year, 15,000 Connecticut kids smoke their first cigarette, and for years the tobacco industry has had free reign to target our children with cartoon characters and exotic flavors," said Dodd. "Prominently displaying the consequences of smoking on cigarette packages and requiring cigarette companies to change the way they advertise will help deter tobacco use and prevent tobacco companies from addicting our children to their dangerous products."
Dodd, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, co-authored and shepherded committee and Senate passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that empowers the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco products.
The tobacco strategy includes a proposed rule, a requirement of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, that nine new larger and more noticeable textual warning statements and color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements.
By June 22, 2011, FDA will select the final nine graphic and textual warning statements after a comprehensive review of the relevant scientific literature, the public comments, and results from an 18,000 person study. FDA will implement the final rule on September 22, 2012 that will ultimately prohibit companies from manufacturing cigarettes without new graphic health warnings on their packages for sale or distribution in the United States. In addition, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers will no longer be allowed to advertise cigarettes without the new graphic health warnings in the United States. By October 22, 2012, manufacturers can no longer distribute cigarettes for sale in the United States that do not display the new graphic health warnings.