Health groups pressure FDA to publish lawful, graphic cigarette warnings
These graphic warnings would be applied to all cigarette packs as well as advertising.
The eight groups include the American Cancer Society; the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Heart Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; the American Lung Association; and the Truth Initiative.
In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was approved, mandating that graphic warnings be printed on the upper portion of the front and back of all cigarette packs. Additionally, 20 percent of cigarette advertising must include the graphic warnings. Final rulings were required to be completed by June 2011.
Although the FDA met the 2011 deadline, a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ended the FDA ruling, claiming the warnings violated First Amendment rights.
However, this ruling does not exclude the FDA from having to follow the 2009 law.
“The FDA has been in violation (of the 2009 law) for more than four years,” according to the lawsuit. “During that time, over 3 million Americans -- the vast majority of them minors -- have begun to smoke on a regular basis. Half of them will die prematurely as a result of tobacco-related disease.”