Launch Date for Graphic Cigarette Warning Labels Delayed Again

Judge's ruling pushes the implementation date to early 2023.
Graphic Cigarette Warning

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Tobacco companies have more time to add graphic warnings to cigarette packaging and advertisements.

A U.S. District Court judge in Texas approved a delay for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA, ITG Brands LLC and Liggett Group LLC. The decision pushes the implementation date form Oct. 11, 2022 to Jan. 9, 2023, reported the Winston-Salem Journal.

It's the latest implementation date for Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) rule requiring tobacco companies to include health warnings on cigarette packages and in cigarette ads. The agency issued its final rule on the warnings, featuring a combination of text and images depicting some of the health risks of cigarette smoking, in March 2020.

According to the news outlet, the FDA said any obligation to comply with a deadline tied to the effective date is similarly postponed.

However, the FDA "strongly encourages" companies to submit cigarette plans as soon as possible, but no later than March 12, 2022.

The warnings will be required to appear on the top 50 percent of the front and back of cigarette packages and at least 20 percent of the top of ads. In addition, the warnings must be randomly and equally displayed and distributed on cigarette packages and rotated quarterly in cigarette advertisements.

There are 11 required warnings. They are:

  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
  • WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes head and neck cancer.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes bladder cancer, which can lead to bloody urine.
  • WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy stunts fetal growth.
  • WARNING: Smoking can cause heart disease and strokes by clogging arteries.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes COPD, a lung disease that can be fatal.
  • WARNING: Smoking reduces blood flow, which can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • WARNING: Smoking reduces blood flow to the limbs, which can require amputation.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes type 2 diabetes, which raises blood sugar.
  • WARNING: Smoking causes cataracts, which can lead to blindness.