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08/26/2021

FDA Again Pushes Back Implementation Date for Cigarette Graphic Warnings

A U.S. District Court in Texas ordered the effective date be delayed until Oct. 11, 2022.
FDA cigarette warning about diabetes

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Cigarette packaging and advertising will remain the same a few months longer.

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) rule requiring tobacco companies to include health warnings on cigarette packages and in cigarette ads has been pushed back again until October 2022.

The agency issued its final rule on the warnings in March 2020. The graphic warnings feature a combination of text and images depicting some of the health risks of cigarette smoking, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

The latest delay comes after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an order in the case of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration et al. to postpone the effective date. The court issued the order on Aug. 18, according to the FDA.

The new effective date of the final rule is Oct. 11, 2022; however, the agency "strongly encourages entities to submit cigarette plans as soon as possible, and in any event by Dec. 12, 2021."

Once the effective date arrives, 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.

To get more details on the cigarette labeling and health warning requirements, click here.