Child with Cigarette Smoke

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unveiled 9 new warning labels that will be required to appear on cigarette packages no later than September, 2012.  The labels are designed to "help prevent children from smoking, encourage adults who do to quit, and ensure every American understands the dangers of smoking," the US Department of Health and Human Services said in a release.

"Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and costs our economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity," the release says.  Each warning is accompanied by a smoking cessation phone number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, placed directly on the cigarette packages in an attempt to inspire smokers to quit before they smoke even one more cigarette.

The labels are graphic and in some cases shocking, depicting lung and oral cancers, stroke victims, and a man breathing through a tracheotomy.  The FDA has published all 9 cigarette warning labels here.

Two of the labels are directly aimed at raising awareness of the adverse affects of cigarettes on child health.  One shows a baby near swirling cigarette smoke (depicted in this post) with a message that second-hand smoke allows carcinogens and other toxins into your child's body.  The other is a cartoon drawing of an ill newborn, illustrating how smoking during pregnancy increases the risks of miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants, infants with low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

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