(FRANKFORT, Ky - March 18, 2020) The Food and Drug Administration today published a rule requiring color graphic warnings about the dangers of cigarettes and secondhand smoke on the packages of all cigarettes sold in the United States and in all cigarette advertising, effective June 18, 2021. The graphics replace the text-only warnings that have not been updated since 1984.
"It's time these graphics, which the tobacco industry has delayed time and again with self-interested legal wrangling, replace the 35-year old warnings that we've all gone blind to seeing on cigarettes," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which advocates for measures to reduce tobacco use in Kentucky. "Smoking kills nearly 9,000 Kentuckians every single year. We're particularly concerned about adolescents and teens who have started vaping in droves recently and, research shows, are much more likely to move to cigarettes. Even another 15 months is too long to wait, so I encourage health advocates, parents, educators and others to start sharing these graphics now. The new warnings may not appear until June 2021, but it's a fact now: smoking kills and causes tremendous damage to our quality of life."
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About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth