In 2009, the Tobacco Control Act made it so the FDA had to require color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking on labels. Two years later, the FDA issued a final rule that required manufacturers to use one of nine images on their packaging and advertisements. A recent article from The Hill says the FDA has now proposed an experimental study to examine warning statements on cigarette packaging.
The voluntary online study aims to determine whether potential textual warnings actually promote public understanding of the risks of smoking. Cigarette manufacturers claim the FDA’s warnings are unconstitutionally designed to merely tell customers not to buy a legal product, and that the public is already “overwhelmingly aware of the risks addressed by the warnings.” The FDA was unable to present data illustrating their initiative reduced smoking rates, so now they’re going back to the drawing board. The public has 30 days to comment on the study.