Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs could Reduce Number of Smokers in the US


A new study published in Tobacco Control journal demonstrates that graphic warning labels on cigarette packs resulted in decrease in smoking rates in Canada by 20% in 2009. The authors of the study say that if the USA introdused graphic warnings, it would help to decrease significantly number of smokers in the country.

However, FDA depreciated the health impact of graphic warnings. Based on Canada’s experience, the FDA in 2011 estimated the impact of graphic warning labels on U.S. smoking rates, In August 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concluded that the FDA’s analysis performed by the agency has no enough evidence that the graphic warnings are likely to reduce number of smokers.

The authors of the latest study wrote that the model used by the FDA greatly depreciated the actual impact of graphic warning labels. They used statistical methods in order to compare smoking rates in Canada nine years after and nine years before graphic warnings were introduced. Thus they found that in Canada smoking rates greatly decreased after introduction of graphic warnings.

The newest results demonstrate that the potential reduction in smoking rates is 33-53 times greater than that was estimated by FDA. It proves that use of graphic pictures is effective when the talk is about reduction of number of smokers. According to Dr. Huang, the author of the research, these findings are extremely important for the initiative to introduce graphic warnings in the USA.

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