OKLAHOMA CITY -- The government is going after smokers, and potential smokers with a new, graphic ad campaign.
The FDA wants to put graphic pictures, including a woman dying in bed and diseased lungs, on the front of cigarette packs. According to the FDA website, "These new required warnings would consist of nine new textual warning statements accompanied by color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking."
The new labels are part of a tougher FDA strategy to significantly reduce the number of smokers by the year 2020. Oklahoma State Department of Health officials said they think the campaign is a great idea.
"This presents the truth about tobacco that it does kill literally hundreds of thousands of people in this country, and 6,000 people in Oklahoma each year," said Doug Matheny, Chief of Tobacco Use Prevention Service.
The new packs won't start rolling out at least until late next year.
The FDA is seeking comment on the a proposed rule for cigarette product warning labels. The FDA wants to hear from the public between Friday, November 12, 2010 and Tuesday, January 11, 2011. To submit an official comment during this time period:
* Go to www.regulations.gov and insert docket number FDA-2010-N-0568 into the "search" box and follow the prompts.
* Send a fax, with your comments, to 301-827-6870.
* Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions) to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
All comments should be identified by Docket ID No. FDA-2010-N-0568. It is only necessary to send one set of comments.