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An analysis of the US FDA’s final rule on health warnings for cigarettes

In March 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule titled “Required Warnings for Cigarette Packages and Advertisements, which stipulates new health warnings on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements. The warnings feature textual statements with photo-realistic colour images depicting some of the lesser-known, but serious health risks of cigarette smoking, including impact to foetal growth, cardiac disease, diabetes and more.

The FDA believes that pictorial cigarette health warnings promote greater public understanding about the negative health consequences of smoking as “they increase the noticeability of the warning’s message, increase knowledge and learning of the negative health consequences of smoking, and benefit diverse populations that have disparities in knowledge about the negative health consequences of smoking”.

This report examines the FDA’s final rule, provides analysis of the various arguments against it, and looks at its regulatory impact.

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Kristina Iashina

Junior legal analyst
Kristina holds a Masters Degree in International Law from Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia. In 2020 she completed a six-month exchange programme at the University of Malaga. She has worked as a legal secretary at the Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal, Russia; and as a legal assistant in a law firm in Moscow.

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