Tobacco Companies Get More Time to Implement Graphic Cigarette Warnings
Recent court approval pushes back the date to April 9, 2023.
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The implementation date for tobacco manufacturers to add graphic cigarette warnings to packaging and ads has once again been pushed back.
On Feb. 10, a U.S. District Court judge in Texas approved a three-month delay, setting April 9, 2023 as the new date, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
"Pursuant to the court order, any obligation to comply with a deadline tied to the effective date is similarly postponed," said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adding that it "strongly encourages entities to submit cigarette plans as soon as possible, and in any event by June 10, 2022."
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA, ITG Brands LLC and Liggett Group LLC have argued for several delays, citing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Until the Feb 10 decision, tobacco companies had until Jan. 9, 2023 to comply with the FDA's rule requiring tobacco companies to include health warnings on cigarette packages and in cigarette ads.
However, that deadline was just the latest, following many delays. The previous dates were June 18, 2021; Oct. 16, 2021; Jan. 14, 2022; April 14, 2022; July 13, 2022; and October 2022, the news outlet reported.
The FDA 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.
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.