Update for NAQC Members on FDA’s Final Rule on Health Warning Labels
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
FDA has just notified NAQC and other stakeholders that it will announce its final rule on Health Warning Labels for Tobacco Products on June 21. This is an historic milestone for tobacco control and NAQC hopes that 800-QUIT-NOW will be included as part of the health warning labels.
NAQC asks all members to set aside some time this week to prepare for the FDA announcement.
Here is what we ask you to do:
1. Prepare to manage a surge in call volume:
- FDA's decision is an historic event and it is likely to receive a substantial amount of press coverage. If FDA includes 800-QUIT-NOW as part of the warning label, the number will probably appear on prime time TV, cable TV and in newspapers. Quitlines are likely to see a surge in call volume from June 21-26 (and possibly beyond). If you are responsible for funding or operating a quitline, please plan accordingly.
- Please note, the earliest the number would appear on cigarette packages is September 21, 2012.
2. Prepare for media inquiries:
- If FDA includes 800-QUIT-NOW as part of the warning label, it is likely that journalists will reach out to NAQC, individual quitlines and cessation experts for information and examples of successful quitters. Please be prepared to respond in positive ways.
- Develop talking points and key messages. To assist you, NAQC will be distributing key messages and quitline facts on Thursday, June 16 to quitline funders and operators. If you have key messages that can be shared with others, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Prepare stories about successful quitters. If you have a good stock of such stories and would like NAQC to refer media calls to you, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
3. Learn about FDA's final rule on warning labels:
- On June 21, FDA will post the final warning label graphics on its website at www.fda.gov/tobacco.
- Once NAQC has reviewed the FDA rule, we will provide a short summary of FDA's decision, especially with regard to the 800-QUIT-NOW number, via email to all members. Our website also will be updated with information and a link to the FDA's final rule (http://www.naquitline.org/).
4. Let us know if you have any questions or need additional assistance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have every hope and expectation that FDA will include 800-QUIT-NOW as part of the new warning labels for cigarettes. Such action would substantially increase the number of smokers who want to quit and who seek out evidence based treatment such as quitlines. NAQC members have been responsible for much of the advancement in tobacco cessation in the past decade. We must continue pushing for advancement by helping to make this effort a success. If you have ideas or need additional support, please let us know by phone (800-398-5489) or email (email@example.com).
Many thanks for all your time and effort,
Linda A. Bailey, JD, MHS
President and CEO