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February 13, 2020

New Graphic Tobacco Warnings and the First Amendment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, George Washington University School of Nursing, Washington, DC
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, DC
  • 3Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 4Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus
  • 5Center for Tobacco Research, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus
  • 6Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus
JAMA Oncol. Published online February 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.5975

In August 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a rule to require 13 new warnings for cigarette packages and advertisements.1 The warnings would state that smoking causes various diseases and conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and cataracts. As required by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA), the proposed warnings also would be accompanied by color images that cover the top 50% of front and rear panels of cigarette packs and at least 20% of the top of cigarette advertisements.2 If finalized, the rule would be a considerable change to warnings on US cigarette packaging.

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    1 Comment for this article
    Europe Messed Up First
    Trevor Hart, Post Graduate | Retired
    the EU have (plural tense is correct) demanded that every pack carries an awful picture of "damage" that MAY, may, be caused by smoking. I still do not see the same signs at Petrol/Gas Stations on the evil of drink drivers OR at any Bar/Pub. Either have a level playing field or get off the high horse. I have NEVER smoked but had a heart attack. First thing I was told in hospital was "YOU HAVE TO STOP SMOKIN" I replied since I have not started how long do I need to smoke so I can stop?