FDA Abandons Gruesome Cigarette Warnings
Feds won't challenge free speech ruling
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2013 2:09 AM CDT
Two of the FDA's nine proposed warning labels.   (AP Photo/U.S. Food and Drug Administration, File)

(Newser) – Big Tobacco can breathe easier: The Food and Drug Administration has scrapped a series of graphic warning labels for cigarettes after deciding not to challenge a court ruling that said the shocking images violated free-speech protections, the Wall Street Journal reports. The labels included images such as diseased lungs and the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and carried stern warnings like, "Smoking can kill you."

The FDA now plans to come up with a different set of warning labels, but the process is likely to take years. A separate court ruling last year upheld a 2009 ruling that gave the federal government the authority to regulate tobacco and to add stronger warnings on cigarette packets. Dozens of countries have introduced similar graphic warnings on tobacco products in recent years, and a World Health Organization survey found that they caused around a quarter of smokers to consider quitting, the AP reports.

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Showing 3 of 31 comments
donwine
Mar 20, 2013 8:24 PM CDT
And how much did that bribe cost? Just pass a law that says it is OK to smoke - but it is against the law to breath out!
Seth_Meyers
Mar 20, 2013 6:56 PM CDT
So, the judge(s) once again whored out and were bought off by the blood money of the criminal tobacco pushers. Of course, warnings, are NOT the answer. Only a complete and total BAN of the illegal tobacco drug is the correct solution. Tobacco is illegal, based upon the fact that it is still illegal to POISON PEOPLE, no matter how slowly you do it. BAN THE ILLEGAL TOBACCO DRUG, NOW AND PROSECUTE those who still grow, manufacture, distribute, sell and otherwise promote the tobacco drug, which is addictive, defective and lethal, when USED AS INTENDED (as no other drug is!) If you don't agree, then YOU are part of the problem!
fractal
Mar 20, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
In the nineties, my team was trying to come up with educational flyers about the dangers of unsafe sex. We asked many teens what would influence them on a flyer. They indicated that graphic pictures worked well--they won't stop to read much, but are open to looking at pics, and have a grounding in icky ones from their slasher films. We printed up several prototypes of flyers, then asked them which ones conveyed the info the best. By far, it was the one with the graphic, gross pics. This form of advertising works. Whether or not you think it is fair.