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Graphic warnings coming to the US

19 Mar 2020. The FDA has issued a final rule stating that all tobacco companies will have to use graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and ads starting next year, reports CNN.

From June 2021, the health warnings will be required to cover the top 50 per cent of the area on the front and back panels of cigarette packages as well as at least 20 per cent of the top of advertisements.

Cigarette labels in the US have not been changed for more than 35 years with various health groups suggesting the new warnings are more than overdue. The warnings will include colour images and different descriptions of the health risks of smoking, according to CNN.

"Research shows that the current warnings on cigarettes, which have not changed since 1984, have become virtually invisible to both smokers and nonsmokers, in part because of their small size, location and lack of an image, said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. "The new cigarette health warnings complement other critical FDA actions, including outreach campaigns targeted to both adults and youth, to educate the public about the dangers associated with using cigarettes, as well as other tobacco products.