Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

FDA rolls out cigarette warning labels; one highlights effects on nonsmokers

Text: WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers. Image: Man blowing smoke toward woman’s face.  Woman holding her hand over mouth and nose. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unveiled proposed warning labels for cigarette packs – a result of a law Congress passed last year that gives the agency regulatory authority over tobacco (the Tobacco Control Act). Specifically, the law requires nine new warning labels to be put on tobacco products along with color graphics that depict the negative health effects of smoking.

The great news is that one of the warning labels focuses on the effects of secondhand smoke on nonsmokers. As we all know, secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, and aggravates respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.

“Tobacco smoke causes fatal disease in nonsmokers,” the label reads. The FDA is considering five design options for the label. Personally, I like #3A and #4A.

What do you like? Let the FDA know. The agency is taking feedback on the colors, the graphics, the fonts and the overall design. Click here and go to  to page 2 to find out how you can submit comments to the agency. Your options are to submit comments online, fax them in or send them by snail mail.

Let’s hope that these will help make smokers more aware that when they smoke, they spew poisonous gases into the air, which the nonsmokers around them generally don’t appreciate and don’t particularly want to breathe.

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