-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Pictures of diseased
lungs and other types of graphic warning labels on cigarette packs
could cut the number of smokers in the United States by as much as
8.6 million people and save millions of lives, a new study
Researchers looked at the effect that graphic warning labels on
cigarette packs had in Canada and concluded that they resulted in a
12 percent to 20 percent decrease in smokers between 2000 and
If the same model was applied to the United States, the
introduction of graphic warning labels would reduce the number of
smokers by between 5.3 million and 8.6 million smokers, according
to the study from the International Tobacco Control Policy
The project is an international research collaboration of more
than 100 tobacco-control researchers and experts from 22
The researchers also said a model used in 2011 by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration to assess the effect of graphic warning
labels significantly underestimated their impact.
These new findings indicate that the potential reduction in
smoking rates is 33 to 53 times larger than that estimated in the
FDA's model. They also prove the effectiveness of health warnings
that include graphic pictures, according to the authors of the
study, which was published online recently in the journal
"These findings are important for the ongoing initiative to introduce graphic warnings in the United States," study lead author Jidong Huang, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a news release.
"The original proposal by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was successfully challenged by the tobacco industry, and the court cited the very low estimated impact on smoking rates as a factor in its judgment," Huang said.
"Our analyses corrected for errors in the FDA's analysis, concluding that the effect of graphic warnings on smoking rates would be much stronger than the FDA found," Huang said. "Our results provide much stronger support for the FDA's revised proposal for graphic warnings, which we hope will be forthcoming in the near future."
Learn more about the FDA's
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