New Cigarette Warning Labels: Death, Disease, Burning Skin

Some of the new warning labels the FDA is considering for cigarettes
Some of the new warning labels the FDA is considering for cigarettes

The New York Times reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing a series of graphic new warning labels be placed on cigarette packs, with bold messages, like "Smoking Can Kill you," and "Cigarettes Cause Cancer," and horrifying pictures depicting the many ravages of smoking.

Designed to cover half of a pack’s surface area, the new labels are intended to spur smokers to quit by providing graphic reminders of tobacco’s dangers. The labels are required under a law passed last year that gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products for the first time.

The proposed labels include pictures of a man smoking from a tracheostomy tube inserted into his throat; a diseased lung; and a woman holding a baby in a smoke-filled room. The proposals stayed away from some of the more gruesome labels used in other countries, where pictures of blackened teeth and diseased mouths are common.

This program aired on November 10, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Rachel Zimmerman

Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



More from WBUR

Listen Live