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NAQC Newsroom: Research

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 Administration greatly 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.

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