More than 45 million adults surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2006 said they were regular cigarette smokers. Substance abuse programs have helped a number of Americans kick their nicotine addiction, but smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the country, according to the CDC. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is attempting to raise awareness of the dangers of cigarettes.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the FDA has announced that it will attempt to introduce more aggressive labels on cigarette packages distributed across the country. The proposal, Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements, would place color pictures on labels, depicting the dangers that come with smoking.
If the regulation is approved, the graphics will cover a majority of cigarette packages, geared toward encouraging smokers to quit. The FDA also hopes that the labels will deter young children from smoking in the future.
In 2009, the FDA was granted the authority to regulate tobacco under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Despite the addiction resources available through rehabilitation centers, nearly 400,000 Americans still die each year from cigarettes. New labels may be able to lower this number.