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Data Collected Used to Support New Cigarette Warning Labels

August 27, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a new rule to require graphic cigarette health warnings on product packages and advertisements. Health warnings first appeared on cigarette packages in 1966, however, the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, conducted by Westat in support of FDA’s regulatory actions, found these text-only cigarette warnings barely register with people today.

The Federal Register announcement of the proposed rule states, “More recently, an analysis of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study data found that the current health warnings on cigarette packages often go unnoticed.” According to researchers who analyzed the PATH Study data, nearly three-quarters of the U.S. population “never” or “rarely” noticed the health warnings on cigarette packages.

Once finalized, the “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements” would require the new warnings, featuring text and striking color images, to cover half the front and back of every cigarette pack and the top 20% of every cigarette ad.


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