This week, the FDA announced the nine new cigarette health warnings that, as of September 2012, must be placed on the top fifty percent of both the front and rear panels of each cigarette package. The new warnings are larger, more prominent and include images that correspond to each warning.  The new warnings must also be placed in the upper portion of each cigarette advertisement, occupying at least 20 percent of the area of the advertisement.A link to the new FDA warnings follows:

A timeline of key dates for implementing these new health warnings follows:

  • September 22, 2012 – Cigarettes for sale or distribution in the United States can no longer be manufactured or advertised without the new cigarette health warnings.
  • October 22, 2012 – Cigarette manufacturers can no longer distribute cigarettes for sale in the United States unless they display the new cigarette health warnings.

This is the first change in the cigarette health warnings in more than twenty-five years. Tobacco manufacturers will need to start planning now to make the required changes in their packaging.

For questions and/or comments, please contact Bryan Haynes, at 804.697.1420 or by email.