The Power of Cigarette Warning Labels
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
A provocative new study has suggested that the Food and Drug
underestimated how much graphic warning labels on cigarette packs reduced
the rate of smoking among Canadians. As a result, the study says, the F.D.A.
vastly underestimated the impact such warnings would have in the United States.
Citing several alleged flaws in the F.D.A.’s analysis, the study concluded that
the reduction in smoking attributable to Canada’s warning labels was 33 times
to 53 times larger than the F.D.A.’s estimate. Had the United States adopted
such labels in 2012, it said, the number of adult smokers would have fallen by
5.3 million to 8.6 million.
The interpretation of this data is crucial because a federal appeals courtblocked the F.D.A.’s first attempt to require graphic
warning labels on the grounds that the agency had shown no persuasive
evidence that the warnings were likely to reduce smoking rates.