U.S. cigarette makers ordered to post new warnings next month

U.S. cigarette makers ordered to post new warnings next month

May 2 (UPI) — U.S. cigarette manufacturers must begin posting new warnings next month about the dangers of smoking on websites and product packaging, a federal court said.

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday cigarette makers must place “corrective statements” on their sites beginning June 18 — and on cigarette packs for two weeks at a time, for a total of twelve weeks over the next two years.

The new warnings must appear on packs by November, the court order said.

The content of the new warnings say that smoking causes an average of 1,200 American deaths each day; that they are designed to create and sustain nicotine addiction; that low-tar, light, and “natural” smokes are no less harmful and that second-hand smoke causes disease and death in non-smokers.

The corrective statements have already been running on prime-time television, as a result of a previous court order.

The new warnings are part of a landmark 2006 injunction that ordered the changes for major U.S. cigarette makers — Altria, its Philip Morris USA subsidiary and R.J. Reynolds — after an eight-month civil trial.

Six public health organizations — the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund — were part of the Justice Department’s suit in 2005.

Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to 13 companies for marketing liquids for e-cigarettes in a manner that makes them appear child-friendly.