After new cigarette labels mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that carry graphic images were unveiled recently, calls to a national smokers’ quit line jumped.
USA Today reports that the 1-800-QUIT-NOW line received more than 4,800 calls the Tuesday the labels were introduced. On a typical Tuesday in June, the quit line receives about 2,000 calls.
The warning labels will carry graphic images of the consequences of smoking, including diseased lungs and rotting teeth, and will include the quit line number. They will replace the traditional “Surgeon General’s Warning.”
The new labels are a result of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products. The law requires the FDA to issue final regulations requiring color graphics illustrating the ugly consequences of smoking by June 22, 2011.
The FDA will require that the disturbing pictures cover at least half of the front and back of a cigarette package by October 2012, and the images must take up to at least 20 percent of each cigarette ad.